Rhodes staff member and parent Angela Fletcher recently was invited, completed the training, and passed the tests to become an official officer for theShelby County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations (SCSO) K-9 Unit with her adopted bloodhound Maddy. Fletcher is a part of many other volunteer rescue and recovery organizations in addition to SCSO. Her training, certifications, and membership on the teams allow her to respond to rescue and recovery efforts in Tenn., Miss., Ark., and Mo.
She also received four FEMA National Disaster Management certifications. The intensive training for organizations such as FEMA and Shelby County Sherriff’s Office Special Operations K-9 Unit can consume up to 20 hours every week.
Fletcher explains that she and Maddy “never stop training” and that the majority of their work takes place every weekend. One such training session included a mock search that took place at Rhodes on May 26.
Fletcher’s never ending training allows her to always be prepared to respond to an emergency or disaster. This training will come in handy when she and Maddy take the K-9 National Certification test in October of this year. Fletcher says, “My dog and I must prove we are able to locate a lost victim regardless of terrain, environment, weather conditions, size of search area, and length of time lost. They test you to the max!”
In addition, Fletcher is a team member of the Mid-South Search and Rescue Dog Association and was recently appointed to the Marshall County Sherriff’s Office Search and Rescue K-9 Unit. Fletcher is the only member in her family involved in these organizations but says, “My family is very supportive of me and my desire to bring the lost home.”
Fletcher is an administrative assistant II in Rhodes’ External Programs and the mother of Rhodes student Victoria Anthony ’14.
Prior to Rhodes, she was the director and court Advocate for House of Grace, a domestic violence shelter in North Mississippi. She also has studied criminal law with a focus on serial murderers.
(information compiled by Lauren Albright ′16)