Local firefighter, rescue dog deployed to Puerto Rico

Staff Report

Santa Barbara County Engineer-Paramedic Eric Gray and his search dog Riley are being deployed to Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

Gray and Riley are responding to the disaster with California Task Force 2 (CA-TF2), part of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

CA-TF2 consists of 57 specialized personnel who are specifically trained in urban search and rescue. Along with the specialized personnel, the task force brings all necessary equipment to make live rescues from collapsed structures and confined spaces.

Gray and Riley were partnered in October 2009.

Riley was presented to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation in Ojai.

Riley, a purebred yellow Labrador retriever, is a live-scent disaster search canine whose job is to assist urban search and rescue personnel in finding live people trapped in rubble.

Past notable deployments for Gray and Riley have included the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami and the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

CA-TF2 is one of two task forces that works with the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance to provide national and international response to natural and man-made disasters.