Manatee County Search and Rescue Team Honored for Saving Life

K9 team saves life of autistic boy using thermal imaging technology

Parrish, FL – The Manatee County Search and Rescue K9 team from Parrish, Florida was asked to help the St. Petersburg Police Department with a search and rescue call involving a 12-year-old autistic boy. The K9 team, which owns two Bullard Thermal Imagers through a grant from Firehouse Subs, used their thermal imager to locate the boy who had been missing for more than four hours.

K9 team members, Commander Jared Leggett, Logistics Officer Sheena Leggett, Training Officer Michael Dvorack, and K9 Kanin were searching for the boy when Training Officer Dvorack spotted movement out of the corner of his eye when looking down a dark alleyway. “It was 2:00am and pitch dark,” said Dvorack. “I lit the alleyway with my flashlight, but didn’t see anything. Then I grabbed the thermal imager and saw what appeared to be a head popping up and down from behind a trash can.”

 At first, Training Officer Dvorack thought it was a racoon. After scanning the alleyway again with the thermal imager, the K9 team made its way down the alley to investigate further. “The boy was hiding behind the trash can, popping his head out because he was scared,” said Dvorack. “The thermal imager helped us locate this young boy quickly and bring him home safely to his family.” 

Commander Jared Leggett, Logistics Officer Sheena Leggett, Training Officer Michael Dvorack and K9 Kanin will be inducted into the Bullard Save-A-Life Club in recognition of saving a life by using a thermal imaging camera. The K9 team will be honored on November 7, 2017. The Manatee County Search and Rescue K9 team is the first search and rescue organization to be inducted into the Save-A-Life Club.