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‘Thursdays at the U’ to feature EMT, K-9 search specialist May 5

| Linda Tollefsrud

People go missing every day, whether from bustling urban centers or remote rural areas. When called upon by law enforcement, certified search and rescue (SAR) K-9s look for the living and the dead — in partnership with their human handlers — in all those environments.

Jan Thompson and her K-9 partner, Yogi

Jan Thompson works closely with her K-9 partner, Yogi. (Submitted photo)

Jan Thompson, an emergency medical technician, K-9 search specialist and a member of a K-9 emergency response team, will discuss her work May 5 during the “Thursdays at the U” lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County.

The presentation will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus. Those who cannot attend in person can watch the livestream.

Thompson and her fourth canine partner, Yogi, have been doing this essential work since 2000. Given the limited number of professional SAR personnel, it is often necessary for search operations to include volunteers with a wide variety of skills and talents.

Can you be a search volunteer without a trained K-9? Absolutely!  Thompson will provide an overview of what civilian volunteers should know and do before responding to a callout from law enforcement.

The “Thursdays at the U” weekly series is free and open to the public thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation. Neither seating reservations nor parking permits are needed for campus guests. Masks are encouraged but not required on UW-Eau Claire campuses, including UW-Eau Claire – Barron County.

For more information about the series, call the campus at 715-788-6244 or email Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, the series organizer, at