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Four-Legged Friend Joins Ft. Lauderale Fire Department

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Summer Knowles reports for CBS4 News. She joined CBS4 in June 2...
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) –  The newest member of the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department’s search and rescue team has four legs and is named “Rit.”

“Rit is a live victim search dog and what he does is basically detects the smell or scent of a live human,” said Rolando Busto of the Ft. Lauderdale Fire and Rescue search specialist.

Rit has quarters along with firefighters at Station 47 on SW 27th Avenue. When he is not on the job, he goes home with Busto but Rit is  always on-call.

He is  highly trained  and a huge helping hand in troubling situations, helping to reduce response time.

“Rit can scan a pile in about a third of the time it would take a person to cover the area,” said Busto.

Regardless of the atmosphere, once Rit makes a discovery and finds the person they are looking for, he is rewarded.

“I reward him for being able to find the person with his tug toy. I give it to him and we play so to him it’s a large game,” said Busto.

While it may be a large game for him, it’s possibly a life saving discovery and rescue for the team.

“At that point we call in secondary team with listening devices,” said Busto.

Rit is one of about ten search and rescue dogs in Broward County, but he is the first and only to work with the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department, and he is certainly a welcome addition.

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