Tim Houweling is a former Investment Banker and Certified Public Accountant. For over 15 years, Tim has been a professional dog trainer. He is also a paid Firefighter/Paramedic. In addition to certifying 4 of his own Search & Rescue dogs, Tim has trained hundreds of Service Dogs and pet dogs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tim has deployed to numerous disaster zones. Tim is currently pursuing his masters degree from the Harvard Extension School.
Athena Haus has 28 years of experience in the field of Search and Rescue with 26 of those in public service, as a Firefighter/Paramedic and Fire Officer. She was a Founding Member of FEMA Ohio Task Force One where she served as a Search Team Manager, Canine Coordinator and Canine Search Specialist when the team was in its infancy, helping to build the training program and current disaster site. She has also served as a Canine Search Specialist for FEMA California Task Force One and Indiana Task Force One, working both human remains detection and live find canines. Athena has deployed as a Canine asset with all three FEMA teams while she was a rostered member. She is the founder of K9 Karma, a canine training business, specializing in the working canine and behavioral canine issues.
For the past 20 years, she has traveled the country as an instructor, evaluator, and facilitator for search and rescue, as well as, tactical medicine classes and workshops. Athena specializes in live find disaster search and wilderness, as well as, human remains detection land and disaster. She has responded to countless disaster and missing person searches for local, state and federal agencies. She has managed several large scale local incidents as the Commanding Fire Officer operating in a Unified Command Structure. She frequently consults as a subject matter expert for large scale disaster training exercises, providing guidance in search strategy and planning and resource management. During her years as a disaster and fire service responder, Athena repeatedly saw that there was a lack of resources and training opportunities to fully prepare canine handlers and teams to manage canine injuries. She established BARK; Basic Aid to Responder K9 program, partnering with Tri-Med Tactical, providing training at the Ohio Fire Academy, Ohio Tactical Officer Association, IDHS as well as other organizations. This training ensures that teams with canines embedded in the disaster and tactical environment have access to basic, real world, hands on canine medical training.
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 training and research. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Deana Hudgins began her Search and Rescue career in 2001. She is currently a Senior Training Analyst
for the Pasco Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit in Florida. She is the Executive Director and a Founding Member of
Ohio Search and Recovery Canines. She is also a Canine Search Specialist for FEMA working both human
remains detection and live find canines.
Deana has traveled the country as an instructor, evaluator, and facilitator for search and rescue classes
and workshops. She 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 consults 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.