When Ben, a black Labrador, trained with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF), his trainers took note of his exceptional athleticism, drive, and trainability. In 2010, he was partnered with firefighter Eric Darling and since then, he has been deployed 19 times to aid in search and rescue efforts in California and across the country. Captain Mark Seastrom, an urban search and rescue officer with Ventura County Fire Department who has worked alongside Ben, reports, “Ben’s enthusiasm for human life and desire to serve has become the standard to which all of our dogs are now held”. Ben has also represented the SDF at numerous educational programs and demonstrations and has excelled as an ambassador for the search and rescue community and retired in 2020.