A Crown Point firefighter and a rescue dog return from the hurricane that hit Florida

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CHICAGO (SCS) — More than three weeks after Hurricane Ian made landfall, the sheer destruction is still hard to imagine, and lost in wreckage, victims and survivors.

That’s why an assistant fire chief from Crown Point, Indiana answered the call. In a story that you will see Alone on 2, our Suzanne Le Mignot introduces him to us as well as the four-legged companion helping him in his quest to find the living.

Crown Point Indiana Fire Rescue Asst. Fire Chief Ryan Cusack gives 10-year-old Labrador Retriever Jake some much-deserved love. The couple recently returned from hurricane-ravaged Florida.

“The devastation caused by the storm surge has been incredible,” Cusack said. “He moved houses. He took houses down and piled them up at the end of a neighborhood. We found boats in the neighborhoods. It was just amazing how damaging and powerful that storm surge was. “

Jake is trained to find trapped survivors after disasters. The pair were in Ft. Myers Beach, Iona, San Carlos Island and Sarasota County. They were deployed after Hurricane Ian hit Florida and worked as part of FEMA’s response to search for survivors.

“The areas we were tasked with searching, there were no survivors in those areas. So between my dog ​​Jake and the rest of our team, we searched those neighborhoods for destroyed buildings that might have trapped someone And those were our specific missions were to search those buildings, to make sure we had accounts for everyone,” Cusack said.

He added “the survivors had already been located by local search and rescue. The big part of what our team does is that we go there at the request of local authorities to help them complete the mission. To research, do secondary research, whatever it is local resources we need to take care of.”

This is the seventh time that Jake and Asst. Chief Cusack participated in rescue missions. Past assignments include the condo meltdown in Surfside, Florida, and the tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky.

“We all leave a bit of ourselves there and take a bit home. Everyone handles it a little differently,” Cusack said. “Everyone has a slightly different experience and you find the healthiest way to go through these things and a lot of it, we lean on each other.”

And it’s that strength that keeps this life-saving duo heading for their next mission.

Cusack said everyone involved in the rescue efforts is receiving mental health resources while they work and when they return home.

The dynamic duo of Crown Point Fire Rescue Assistant Fire Chief Ryan Cusack and K-9 Jake were activated on Thursday afternoon…

posted by Crown Point Fire Rescue on Friday, September 30, 2022


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