The Rapid City Fire Department greets a new member Thursday; but this is no ordinary firefighter.
The department swore in 2-year-old Cisco; a Belgian Malinois (a Belgian Shepherd) as the first live search dog. Cisco is trained to detect live victims in distress situations.
"Examples would be the World Trade Center of course, the bombings in Oklahoma City and when there's a large debris field, or a large area that needs to be searched for victims," Rapid City Fire Chief Mike Maltavern said.
The chief believes the department is following the footsteps of other search and rescue teams nationwide.
"This is an effort, really, going on nationally, to bolster first responders' abilities to respond to things like building collapses, terrorism events, and things like that," Maltavern explained.
"One of the tools that we can use in that tool box are search and rescue dogs," he added.
When Cisco is off duty, he will live with a firefighter family. But he is on call 24 hours a day.