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The Santa Barbara County Fire Department is sad to announce the death of our retired Live Scent Search Dog, Riley. Born on October 1st in Northern California, Riley, after 2 attempts at domestic life found his place in this world as a Live Scent Search Dog, trained by the Search Dog Foundation in Santa Paula, California.

On October 15, 2009, Riley finished his basic Search Dog training and was paired with Captain Eric Gray of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. The team worked extremely hard and after seven months of training together, they passed their FEMA Certification on May 15, 2010 in Boston, MA. Eric and Riley continued to train intensively to maintain the very specific, high-level skill set needed for disaster search. In addition to their regular daily training on obedience and obstacles, Eric and Riley traveled at least twice a week for search training with their teammates on California Task Force 2, based in Los Angeles.

Riley and Eric had several high profile deployments over their career together. On August 24, 2010, Eric and Riley responded to their first disaster, a semi-truck loaded with gravel had launched off the road and into a Santa Barbara home. Riley Worked tirelessly ensuring no victims were left unaccounted for.

Riley’s work was not limited to local incidents, On March 10th, 2011, while assigned to Los Angeles County FEMA Task Force 2, he and Captain Gray were deployed to Japan to search for victims in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

On April 26th 2015 Captain Gray and Riley were again deployed overseas to provide their services to the victims of the Nepal Earthquake. They worked for over a week looking for and locating victims amongst the rubble.

In 2017 the duo brought their skills to Puerto Rico to search for victims of Hurricane Maria.

Riley’s last high profile deployment was On January 9th 2018 where he and Captain Gray searched for several days following the devastating Montecito debris flow.

Riley spent his last two years at home with Captain Gray and his family. We would like to send our condolences and appreciation to not only Captain Gray but also the Search Dog Foundation for connecting Riley with Captain Gray and the community.




Contact Information:
Captain Daniel Bertucelli
Information Officer
Office 805-681-5531
Cell 805-896-6336
News Line 805-681-5546
Email [email protected]
Twitter @SBCFireInfo



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