New Lenox Fire Protection District
New Lenox Fire Protection District Swears in K9 Search and Rescue Bloodhound
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By New Lenox Fire Protection District
February 20, 2024

The New Lenox Fire Protection District (NLFPD) swore in their newest member, K9 Search and Rescue Bloodhound, Bo, during the Board of Trustee meeting on February 20th.

Bo is a purebred bloodhound who has been living with his handler since he was 8 weeks old. He began training with the Cook County Sheriff's Department Bloodhound K9 team when he was 10 weeks old. Over the last year he has been developing his skills in scent discriminate man trailing, which is the ability to differentiate the scent from one human to another and follow only the scent that is given to them to follow. This allows him to find people who have gone missing, run away, or wandered off.

“Bo will be able to assist in searching for lost children, people with special needs, runaway or suicidal individuals, and older adults with varying forms of dementia, among others,” stated Bo’s handler, FF/PM John Ruckman.

A scent discriminate man trailing canine can follow a trail that is hours to days old depending on the circumstances.

“Bo’s ability to follow the scent that humans cannot detect can turn hours or days of searching into potentially minutes,” said Ruckman.
Bo can also be used to assist police departments with finding suspects who may pose a grave public safety risk. The demand for search and rescue K9s has increased with the continued population growth.

“We are proud to be able to offer this service to the residents of the district, our visitors, and our neighbors once again,” stated NLFPD Chief Adam Riegel. “Through some unique program planning, the administration has been able to offer this service with minimal financial burden on the district as well.”

This will be the second Search and Rescue K9 the NLFPD has had as a member of their team. In 2012, Red, also a bloodhound, was sworn in with the district and worked until he retired several years later. Red was able to assist both locally and regionally in cases such as missing or lost individuals as well as finding suspects for area law enforcement.

Bo is now just over a year old and will be in full service and ready for calls soon.

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