K9s and their handlers train for water rescues at the Monksville Reservoir in Ringwood recently. Hosting the training event was Eagle Valley Rescue Dogs.
RINGWOOD — Search and rescue dogs and their handlers took part in a K9 water training event at the Monksville Reservoir in Ringwood recently. They came from around the state, and from as far away as North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York. Eagle Valley Search dogs from High Falls, N.Y.hosted the event. Diana Bzik of West Milford, a K9 handler for Eagle Valley Search Dogs and vice president of the Search and Rescue Council of New Jersey, said that training to locate a submerged person is essential for search and rescue team that get called to assist law enforcement, fire departments and other official agencies with water recovery efforts. Eagle Valley Search Dogs responds to searches in the tri-state area. The organization is a member of member of the Search and Rescue Council of New Jersey and the New York State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams. Its website is www.evdogs.org. This workshop consisted of simulation training scenario stations that the K9 teams rotate through. Each station allowed search and rescue dog teams to work from boats and from the shoreline to detect human scent under water. With the help of several agencies, different types of boats, including air boats, and dive teams, were used to run the search and rescue K9 teams through those scenarios. These agencies include: Ringwood underwater search and recovery RUSR, Mahwah Dive Team, Pequannock Dive Team. Also assisting were New Jersey State Park Police and Ringwood State Park and Ringwood Ambulance Corps.