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Rescue dogs, handlers from across the U.S in Virginia Beach this week

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Rescue dogs and their handlers from across the county are at the Virginia Beach Fire Training Center this week.

The Virginia Beach Fire Department says that the training will help canines and their handlers with urban search and rescue operations and that the training is led by Eric Darling, who has more than two decades of disaster response.

Canines, handlers and organizations from California, Utah, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida are attending.

The training center in Virginia Beach is offering these handlers realistic conditions that might exist in a disaster, natural or man-made.

The environment in Virginia Beach, specifically the heat and humidity, are also ideal for this kind of training, said the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

The center is also the home base for the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team and Virginia Task Force 2.