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Search and Recovery

We provide innovative and customizable training and operational support to agencies and individuals regarding all aspects of the preparation and execution of search and recovery scenes.

Services

We facilitate training and exercises to challenge all skill levels and accomplish the training objectives of every client.

Consulting

Customizable Training

Instructor Development

Testimonials

Take your training to the next level and become a better K9 team.

Last year I attended several workshops that Deana instructed, I love her no nonsense way to instructing. She will give you great instruction on what you need to do, and how to make you and your dog a better team. She is passionate about training and puts in an unbelievable about of time and effort into making the training scenarios realistic.

The scenarios are challenging, however she will tailor them to wherever you and your dog are with your training. Deana is a wealth of knowledge and has years of experience, it definitely shows when she is instructing.  If you want to take your training to the next level and become a better K9 team, I would highly recommend training with Deana!

- Darcy Workman

Scientific expertise to assist emergency services agencies in the recovery of lost and missing persons.

I have known Deana Hudgins of The Center for Forensic Training and Education for approximately 20 years. During that time, Deana has utilized her K9 Search and Rescue training and scientific expertise to assist emergency services agencies in the recovery of lost and missing persons.

Deana’s vast experience as a handler of multiple Human Remains Detection K9s gives her a unique perspective regarding the recovery of human remains.

Deana also shares her knowledge by conducting practical, reality-based workshops for K9 SAR handlers and other individuals.            

- Gloria Napier

   Buckeye Search and Rescue

I appreciate working with an instructor with her knowledge and observation skills.

I have been to several seminars where Deana has been instructing.  Her style of instructing, I find it helpful and informative. Deana is a very thoughtful instructor - when I say that I mean that when you work with her - she lays out the plans for the exercise to you and gives you the expectations, for whatever level your dog is at (think exercise program here - optimal, modified, remedial).

She studies the dog as it is working and makes suggestions in real time to adjust what we need to do to support the dog if the dog is green or confused or to modify what I, the handler, is doing to make the training clearer to the dog.  But it doesn’t stop there. I’ve had Deana come to me on a lunch break and say your dog is pushing your buttons by doing xyz, just watch for that and be aware.  So she doesn’t really stop thinking when your exercise is done, she files away something that she saw but since working with dogs is in such split second,real time she didn’t want to cloud what was happening then with something that could be said later.

I’ve been working dogs for 30 years in various venues - almost 20 of it in detection work and I appreciate working with an instructor with her knowledge and observation skills.

- Linda Murphy

The training they provide addresses a significant challenge for most handlers.

The Center for Forensic Training and Education provides exceptional training for Search and Rescue K9 handlers, especially those working K9s in human remains detection (HRD).

The training they provide addresses a significant challenge for most handlers, which is access to realistic training material and training scenarios that are representative of what we will encounter on actual cases. The level of professionalism and expertise that they provide is unparalleled. I have been handling HRD K9s for over 20 years and this is by far some of the most valuable training I have had the opportunity to participate in.

- Joan M. Brehm, Corporal

K9 Operations Team
McLean County Emergency Management Agency

Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration

We promote multi-disciplinary collaboration to maximize the effectiveness of search and recovery operations by incorporating resources from law enforcement, fire rescue, emergency management, government and civilian organizations.

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Get Started

View our available workshops and register today!

CFTE is excited to announce our 2020
canine course catalogue!

We provide agencies the support to maximize efficiency and effectiveness during the critical phases of planning and operations of missing person cases. We also assist with development or review of best practices for search operations. Our subject matter experts can assist with mapping and GPS, search strategies and tactics, and utilization of civilian organizations.


We facilitate training and exercises to challenge all skill levels and accomplish the training objectives of every client. We provide a dynamic learning environment focused on the cultivation and utilization of Subject Matter Experts as instructors, facilitators, evaluators and controllers. We promote multi-disciplinary collaboration to maximize the effectiveness of search and recovery operations by incorporating resources from law enforcement, fire rescue, emergency management, government and civilian organizations.

Deana Hudgins

President/CEO

  • B.S. Geology – University of Akron
  • MBA Management and Strategy – Western Governor’s University
  • Executive Director – Ohio Search and Recovery Canines
  • Canine Search Specialist – FEMA Ohio Task Force One
  • Research Associate/Program Manager – The Ohio State University, GIS/GPS and Water Quality
  • Subject Matter Expert – American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Dogs and Sensors Committee
  • Lead Evaluator – National Association for Search and Rescue
  • Chief Examiner – Alliance for Emergency Response Instructors and Examiners
  • Instructor – FEMA Canine Search Specialist Course
  • SAR Liaison – North American Police Work Dog Association

Deana Hudgins has 18 years of experience in the field of Search and Rescue. She is the Executive Director and a Founding Member of Ohio Search and Recovery Canines. She is also a Canine Search Specialist for FEMA Ohio Task Force 1 working both human remains detection and live find canines.

For the past 11 years, she has traveled the country as an instructor, evaluator, and facilitator for search and rescue classes and workshops. Deana specializes in human remains detection; water, land and disaster, as well as wilderness and disaster live find. She has responded to hundreds of missing person searches for local, state and federal agencies. She frequently consultes as a subject matter expert for large scale training exercises and cases, providing guidance in search strategy and planning, resource management, mapping and data collection. During her years as an instructor, Deana repeatedly saw that there was a lack of resources and training opportunities to fully prepare agencies to respond to search and recovery missions. She established the Center for Forensic Training and Education to ensure that any organization involved with the search and recovery of missing persons has access to real world, hands on, customizable training opportunities.

We are committed to advancing industry wide knowledge and capabilities by supporting scientific research and its practical applications through in-person and distance learning opportunities. If you are an instructor or subject matter expert, we want to help you develop your knowledge and skills into courses that will reach audiences throughout the forensics and search and recovery community. We can provide you with outreach to potential clients, course development and facilitation.

Kathleen Kelsey

Online Program Director

  • MS Animal Science – University of Missouri-Columbia
  • MBA Business Administration – Columbia College
  • Canine Search Specialist – FEMA Missouri Task Force One
  • Canine Handler – McLean County Illinois EMA
  • CEO – Working Dog Enterprises, LLC
  • Director – Calvary Canine
  • Evaluator – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA),
  • Alliance of Emergency Response Instructors and Examiners (AERIE).
  • Instructor – FEMA Canine Search Specialist

Kathleen has been training search and rescue dogs since 2003 and is a Canine Search Specialist for FEMA Missouri Task Force One and McLean County Illinois EMA. She works both live find and human remains detection dogs and provides K9 assets for local law enforcement and deploys around the country in response to natural and manmade disasters. Kathleen also serves an instructor and evaluator for multiple national search dog organizations and provides training instruction and certification for K9 teams to help ensure superior canine resources are available to communities in their time of need. Kathleen is the owner of Working Dog Enterprises which specializes in advancing the detection dog through research and education. She is also the founder of Calvary Canine, a non-profit that provides training support to search and rescue dogs. Kathleen is committed to the education of K9 handlers and joined the Center for Forensic Training and Education as their Online Program Manager to ensure quality training is accessible to handlers of every skill level and affiliation.

Nick Fathergill

Training Director

  •  B. S. in Civil Engineering - Ohio University
  • Professional Engineer - Licensed State of Ohio
  • Firefighter II
  • Paramedic
  • Fire Safety Inspector
  • EMS Instructor
  • Fire Instructor
  • Firefighter/Paramedic - Beavercreek Township Fire Department
  • Canine Search Specialist - FEMA Ohio Task Force One
  • Canine Search Specialist - Ohio Region III Strike Team
  • Canine Handler - Ohio Search and Recovery Canines

Nick Fathergill, a Training Director who works with many different groups to facilitate experiences that replicate real life scenarios. Nick, believes there is no substitute for a realistic training environment and by creating a life like scenario participants are immersed in the real decision making process. After working for nearly a decade as a Professional Engineer for a large engineering and architecture firm, Nick took a different career path becoming a professional Firefighter/Paramedic as well as a Canine Search Specialist for Ohio Task Force One. Nick holds certifications or licenses as a State of Ohio Professional Engineer, Firefighter II, Paramedic, Fire Safety Inspector, Fire and EMS Instructor. Nick currently handles a FEMA Certified Disaster Live Find canine and a FEMA Certified Disaster Human Remains Detection canine who holds dual certifications with FEMA and North American Police Working Dog Association. Nick resides in Southwest Ohio with his wife of 13 years and two children.