About

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Ground Zero Emergency Training Center is a Non-Profit Organization in Oklahoma. We specialize in enhancing America’s emergency response capabilities to natural and man-made disasters by providing local, state and federal First Responders with exceptionally trained urban search and rescue canines, educational opportunities, and a state-of-the-industry facility in which to hone their technical skills.

About

red bar

Ground Zero Emergency Training Center is a Non-Profit Organization in Oklahoma. We specialize in enhancing America’s emergency response capabilities to natural and man-made disasters by providing local, state and federal First Responders with exceptionally trained urban search and rescue canines, educational opportunities, and a state-of-the-industry facility in which to hone their technical skills.

Ground Zero Founders

Ground Zero Emergency Training Center was founded by Oklahomans, Barry & Becky Switzer in 2017 to meet the needs of a critical shortage in search-and-rescue canines. 

Ground Zero’s Mission

Strengthen Emergency Response at the Local, State & National Levels

  • Search Canines – Highly trained urban search & rescue canines
  • First Responders – Advanced education & training for our heroic first responders to become canine handlers
  • Training Facility – State-of-the-art training facility that replicates disaster conditions
Barry & Becky Switzer

Ground Zero Story

The catalyst for Ground Zero began on April 19, 1995, following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. As one of the top three disaster states, Oklahoma was vulnerable in its ability to prepare and respond adequately to natural and man-made disasters. The Switzers discovered the reason for the shortage of elite working canines in our country was due to a lack of trainers and training areas available. In addition, the cost to train and care for the canines far exceeded the already strained state department budget.

Over the next several years, multiple tragedies would occur in Oklahoma, including the devastating tornadoes of May 1999 and 2013. When the 9/11 terrorist attacks stunned the nation, the Switzers knew something had to be done to strengthen emergency response at the local, state & national level.
Since 2017, Ground Zero has evolved from a personal passion and dream to a thriving nonprofit organization garnering local, statewide and national attention along with 29 successful canine and handler pairings. 

Staff

  • Todd Frazier, Lead Trainer/Breeder
  • Lissee Nichols, Ass’t Trainer/Kennel Tech
  • Erin Anderle, Kennel Manager/Kennel Tech
  • Karsyn Clifton, Kennel Tech/Puppy Development Program
  • Dr. Barry Bayliff, Veterinarian
  • Dr. Scott Mason, Veterinarian

Board of Directors

  • Bryan Clifton
  • Kory Coots
  • Mike Copeland
  • Joe Dorman
  • Terri Jungels
  • Ken Miller
  • Cindy Morrison
  • Becky Samples
  • Craig Sanger
  • Becky Switzer
  • Kacee Van Horn
  • J.C. Watts