Ginny, a brindle-colored Dutch Shepherd, is trained to search for missing, trapped, injured or unresponsive humans in unstable conditions or confined areas. She has a highly-developed scent ability and can canvass large areas in short amounts of time.
To help protect and support her when working in the field, Ginny also wears a specially designed protective vest that carries sophisticated technology, such as an infrared camera and atmospheric gas detector when underground.
Ginny was bred at a kennel that provides some of the highest-performing dogs in existence to branches of the U.S. military, law enforcement and homeland security. Her formal training took over two years and was led by Bill Dotson, a well-recognized canine behaviorist with expertise in the development of highly specialized skills for search, rescue and recovery.
Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR), a leading U.S. coal producer, on Friday introduced Ginny, stated to be the first canine specifically trained to perform search and rescue in both underground and surface structures typically found at mining operations, as part of the company’s signature safety process, Running Right.
Kevin Crutchfield, chairman and CEO of Alpha Natural Resources, said, “We are excited to welcome Ginny to the Alpha Natural Resources family. She is a tremendous new asset for mine search and rescue, both for our company and the industry, and is part of our larger commitment to safety. Ginny also demonstrates our Running Right process in action, showing how our company takes employee ideas to enhance safety and makes them a reality.”
Ginny continues to train with Alpha’s mine search and rescue teams so that they know how to best work with her and leverage her skills.
Ginny currently resides with her handler, Rick McAllister, Alpha’s director of Continuous Improvement; Rick was also the employee who came up with the idea that the company should train a dog specifically for mine search and rescue.
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