From being rescued to becoming the rescuer, the newest canine member of the Orange County Fire Authority has quite the inspiring story.
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Known as “Fancy Nanci,” she’s the department’s newest rescue dog.
The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation found her at a shelter in Missouri. She arrived in Orange County two months ago and offers a special skill set.
“She does a little bit of parkour on the piles. Her ability to work independently, zero fear, gives her the ability to run something like this with no hesitation. I think it causes me a little more heartache sometimes, but for her, she just goes for it,” said OCFA apparatus engineer Sean Monville.
The dog is able to easily maneuver through tough terrain and find the scent of a missing person.
OCFA therapy K9 helps firefighters relieve stress, improve mental health
Pax, a 3-year-old yellow lab retriever, works with the Orange County Fire Authority to help firefighters relieve stress.
K9 search specialist Eric Darling says the advantage of using dogs is that they have “four-wheel drive” and an incredible nose.
“Their olfactory system is so much higher than ours,” he added. “When we send the dog, once they get that odor in their nose, they are moving as fast and as safely as possible over rubble that isn’t always safe to locate the person. Because finding the people in minutes, compared to hours – which is why we use the dog – is critical.”
Nanci is trained to bark when she finds the scene and then the rescue task force moves in.
“As soon as we hear the barks from our dog, then the rest of the team can bring in cameras and listening devices and saws and start removing the debris, because time is of the essence to get everybody out alive.”
Nanci is a big help to firefighters as she works and grows a bond with her handler.
“We’ll go anywhere, any time that we’re needed. She’s with me 24/7, whether it’s on shift at the station, home. Wherever I go, she’s with me and we’re ready to go at the drop of a hat,” Monville said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Sean Monville’s name.
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I am Robert Le, the author of the article on the website "Rescuing Pet Dogs" and a person who is passionate about the animal world, especially dogs that have gone through difficulties and were rescued. With extensive knowledge about caring for and nurturing puppies, I not only share useful experiences and knowledge but also bring adorable stories about my journey to help four-legged friends. I constantly learn and research about issues related to pet dogs, and through my blog posts, I hope to spread the message of love and care for these priceless friends. Join me as we explore the adorable world of rescued dogs and learn how you can contribute to their happiness.