2017 Seminar Recap and Thank You Letter

March 18, 2017

To all Seminar Students and Instructors:

Another great training seminar is in the history books. Our week-long seminar was one of the coldest that we have had in a few years. For those of you from up north, it probably made you feel right at home. For those in the southern regions, it might have made you a bit uncomfortable. However, despite the bitter and windy mornings, plus the occasional rain on Monday morning, you and your canine partners kept training and made the best of it.

We had several new students attend the seminar this year. We would like to thank them for trusting us to further their education, and the education of their canine partners, in the field of search and rescue. We hope they had a positive experience with every aspect of the week. Further, we hope to see them again next year.

Several students decided to switch classes from previous years. We had a student move to Trailing from HRD. We had several move from Live Search to HRD. We had a couple of students move to HRD from Trailing. Some were trying to cross-train their canine. Others were working another dog entirely. Whatever  the reason, we were glad to see multiple students willing to expand their horizons and try something different. We view handlers wishing to learn about all canine search and rescue disciplines as nothing but a positive.

As always we strive to bring in only the highest quality of instructors. We are pleased to say that we accomplished that again this year. In the Trailing class Corbin and Jamie Hodge, a staple in our seminar, continued to provide steady leadership. Cheri Sorensen and our own Dan Fischer and Kevin Kidwell rounded out a cadre that helped groom several new canines into fine working dogs. We thank them for their work.

HRD saw the return of a few familiar faces. Brad Dennis and Jim Delbridge came back to help mold several new pups as well as a few seasoned veterans. Brad oversaw rigorous training for the more experienced dogs. Jim rose to the occasion to help imprint and start the careers for some of HRD’s future stars. Brad’s scenarios were integrated into Wednesday night’s training in courtroom testimony. Brad brought the People’s Court to Yocum Hall and did a fantastic job.

Sarah Garfunkel and Michelle Metzner continued to oversee the training needs of the Live Search Air Scenting class. Not only did they work nine hour days in their class, they also administered many NASAR certifications as well. We would like to thank them for their unrelenting work ethic to ensure they met their students needs both inside and outside of class. We’d also like to thank fellow team members Rick Morrow and Justin Mackey for setting up navigation courses for several NASAR SAR Tech II certifications.

Congratulations to those who obtained certifications throughout the week.

We would be amiss if we did not thank Randy Pritchard for giving us a night class on the Garmin GPS and computer program Base Camp. Thank you Randy.

Finally, we would like to thank the staff at Scottsville Camp and Conference Center for again being our gracious hosts. They were attentive and, most importantly, kept our attendees fed with some great food.

Without our students and instructors we would not have a seminar. Our team’s main goal is not to make money through registration fees or anything else. Our number one goal is to help make both humans and canines better at search and rescue than when they arrived. On behalf of our entire team, we hope we accomplished that goal for you. It takes a lot of heart to do this work. We saw the heart in you this week.

Great job and keep on training,


Members of the Shreveport Fire Department K9 Search and Rescue Team