K-9 trainers in Middle Tennessee teaching dogs how to find people stuck in rubble

Jun 28, 2021

FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) – As a frantic mission to uncover any survivors continues in Miami after this week’s tragic condo collapse – included in those efforts are K-9’s that specialize in finding people in rubble.

News 4 had a chance Friday to talk to a K-9 trainer in Middle Tennessee who trains dogs like the ones searching for signs of life in in Miami.

“In a tragedy like Miami where there are lots of people trapped underneath, there’s a limited window of the time these dogs are able to find these people,” Ali Hemyari, trainer at K-9 Nashville said. “They’re contending right now with the humidity, the heat.”

Inside Nashville K-9 in Franklin, part of Hemyari’s life work has been training K-9’s and leading rescue squads. He says K-9’s that specialize in urban search and rescue missions, require training up to two years.

“I always tell people it’s the most heavily trained and the least used because the specialty is so narrow.”

While rescuers in Florida hold out hope desperately searching for survivors – Hemyari says K-9’s play an important role in the rescue effort.

“Initially it’s just far too dangerous for somebody to go walk around a rubble pile,” Hemyari said. “I hope they recover more people alive and just [my] well wishes to everyone involved.”

As of Friday afternoon, the death count at the condo collapse had grown to four, with more than 150 people unaccounted for. The rescue efforts remain tireless.

Click here to watch the video on News 4.