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.


Deana Hudgins



Nick Fathergill

Training Director

Kathleen Kelsey headshot

Kathleen Kelsey

Online Learning Director

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.

Nick Fathergill

Training Director


 B. S. in Civil Engineering - Ohio University

Professional Engineer - Licensed State of Ohio

Firefighter II


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.