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2020 Workshop Catalogue

CFTE is excited to announce our 2020 canine workshop catalogue. We will be offering training opportunities for all skill levels and ages, from puppies just staring their training journey to seasoned professionals with many searches already under their belt. In addition to HRD, courses we will be adding two opportunities for Live Find teams.

Each course offering listed below provides information on the ideal candidate for the training, prerequisites, course length, month the course will be offered during 2020, and topics to be covered. Exact dates will be announced soon.



HRD Land Introduction (2.5 days) - March 

Target Audience: Handlers just starting a puppy or dog in HRD as either a single purpose dog or adding HRD as a second discipline. No training prerequisites.


Topics: odor imprinting, final response exercises, introducing distractions, canine learning milestones, training plan development, types of sources, storing and maintaining sources


HRD Land Beginner (2 days) - May 

Target Audience: Teams that have at least 6 months of HRD training, and dog should have a started trained final response and is at least 8 months old.


Topics: guided exposure to large sources to include full sets of remains, utilizing final response drills to introduce large sources, process of human decomposition, training log documentation, troubleshooting training issues


HRD Land Intermediate (3 days) - June 

Target Audience: Teams that have experienced large sources/bodies and are ready to move from exposure to searches. Teams that are approaching certification level or have already certified but have limited experience with large sources. Teams that have been through the HRD Beginner workshop or have 12 months of HRD training and dog has a solid trained final response.


Topics: exposure to full body and large sources, searches in different environments, developing a search strategy, scent theory, search reports, communications with AHJ, proper scene preservation




HRD Advanced Scenarios (2 days) - May and November 

Target Audience: Nationally certified teams or teams that have completed the Beginner and Intermediate workshops.


Topics: 6 unique full body scenarios that handlers can search as blind or known exercises. No instruction but participants will be guided through each station by experienced HRD handlers and instructors that will provide them feedback.


HRD Crime Scene/Forensics (2.5 days) - August and December

Target Audience: Certified teams or teams that have a minimum of 12 months HRD land experience and dog should have a solid trained final response.


Topics: Building search, vehicle search, wilderness search for evidence, low threshold odors (blood, decomp, bone), trace, up to large source, documentation for training logs and search reports, communicating findings with AHJ. Participants will have the opportunity to work blind and known searches.


HRD Water Beginner (2.5 days) - July

Target Audience: Teams that are new to water search. Dog should have a solid trained final response on land and 6 months land HRD training.


Topics: introduction to shoreline search, boat safety, introduction working odor from a boat, developing a water training plan, trained final response in the water environment, the importance of understanding body language and behavior, training log documentation for water, source considerations for water


HRD Water Intermediate (3 days) - June and September 

Target Audience: Teams should have 6 months experience on water search and dogs should have a trained final response on water.


Topics: search strategy, preparing for certification, increasing nose time, communications with boat operators, basics of hydrology in still and moving water environments, open water and shoreline searches


HRD Water Advanced (3 days) - July

Target Audience: Certified teams or teams approaching certification level with at least 12 months experience in water search, dog must have a solid trained final response.


Topics: extended known and blind searches from shoreline and open water, communicating findings and recommendations to AHJ, managing canine resources on a water search, using GPS in the water environment. Course will present real world and certification scenarios to teams actively working water searches.


Disaster for the Wilderness/Local Responder (2 days) - September

Target Audience: Local responders or wilderness search teams. Dog should have at least 12 months experience in land HRD with a solid trained final response. No full bodies but large sources will be utilized.


Topics: exposure to rubble and burn environments, safety considerations, recognizing limitations, scent movement in disaster and burn environments, communication with AHJ, decontamination procedures, human and canine health concerns


Live Find Exposure to Large Source in a Disaster Environment (1 day) - November

Target Audience: FEMA/SUSAR/Local Disaster Handlers that are certified disaster response teams through a national organization or FSA level.

Topics: Guided exposure to full bodies and large sources, recognizing live find dog’s reaction to remains vs live victim, progression of exercises working past remains into live victims culminating in a blind rubble search with full bodies as distraction on the pile while working an unknown number of live victims.

Live Find Exposure to Large Source in a Wilderness Environment (1 day) - May 

Target Audience: Wilderness teams that are certified through a national organization.


Topics: Guided exposure to full bodies and large sources, recognizing their live find dog’s reaction to remains vs live victim, progression of exercises working past remains into live victims culminating in a blind wilderness search with full bodies as distraction.

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


  • 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.