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Search and Rescue K9 Scent Kits

The White Oak EMS Search and Rescue K9 Team (“WOSAR”) is an all-volunteer, non-profit division of the White Oak EMS Dept. Our mission is quite simple, SERVICE BEFORE SELF. As volunteer emergency responders, we each put the needs of the public above our own desires and wants.

Per the 2016 US census, Allegheny County had an estimated population of 1,225,365. We have always had an older population. For the last two decades, there was a downward trend and our population was getting younger; however, recent reports show the numbers climbing again. Of the total US population, the average number of persons over the age of 65 is 16.8%. Yet in Allegheny County, it is 19.3%, and by 2025, this will reach 21.1%.

There are over 30 Dementia and Alzheimer specific care facilities in our region. Of the 16.8% seniors, 10% of them will suffer from some sort of Dementia or Alzheimer’s, that means that in our area, over 20,000 patients are in need of some sort of care.

Obviously not all are in care facilities. Some live with family and friends. Nevertheless, we can be certain; all of them need to be safe. AND THREE OUT OF FIVE PATIENTS WILL WANDER... 12,000 people in our area that are at risk for wandering off; 12,000 people at risk of injury, or worse. WOSAR wants to keep this from happening.

WOSAR would like to do start a Human Scent Preservation Kit program for the highest risk patients in our area. A Scent Preservation Kit is a specific scent article (a cotton pad) with the patient’s own scent on it. Once the patient’s scent is collected on the pad, the pad is placed in a jar, the jar sealed and safely stored. Then, should the time come that the patient goes missing and this scent is needed for a Search Dog, it is available.

There are times that a person has gone missing, a scent article is not able to be located with only the missing person’s scent. Due to this person living in a group facility, no one can be sure that a piece of clothing or personal item isn't contaminated

Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (October 2017)