CdA FEMA Dogs

COEUR D'ALENE - Eager as always, Murphy, the five and a half year old yellow lab and his partner, Coeur d’Alene Firefighter/Paramedic, Cody Moore, are inseparable.

“He’s one hundred percent grown up with me, spends time with me, and everything we do, we kind of do together,” Moore said.

Murphy is more than just a cute lab, he’s a FEMA certified search and rescue K9 who specializes on air scent.

His nose is best suited for natural disasters.

“So less runaway kids and more collapse or disaster,” Moore said.

Murphy is one of four dogs that are specialized for disasters.

Over the summer, Coeur d’Alene Firefighter Scott Robinson and his K9, Duke, who is also Murphy’s brother, were sent to Hawaii with Washington Task Force One to help assist those who may have been trapped in Hurricane Lane’s wake.

Moore and Murphy were also deployed to Hawaii to assist during Tropical Storm Olivia.

The pair’s training is rigorous; both have spent countless hours working on finding small toys.

But like anything, those skills need to be sharpened in the event of something major.

“I think they get a little more bigger sense of it when it is a real emergency but ultimately it's a game to them and they know how to get the reward,” Moore said.

Murphy, along with Coeur d’Alene Fire K9 Scout, became FEMA certified over the weekend.

Though their best skills are more tuned to disasters, Moore says they are ready if a local or state agency were to come calling.

“It means extra training for us,” Moore said, “it's extra resources in our region."