FEMS Instructor - Search and Rescue
Darrell Wilkerson is a US veteran and career firefighter. He began his mission of training working dogs as an extension of his fire and rescue career through his own small business in 2006. Darrell has dedicated his career to recruiting, training and deploying highly skilled canine teams for numerous local, state, federal and international canine programs.
Darrell is a former Canine Instructor and Trainer for Auburn University’s Canine Detection Research Center, he has served as a canine trainer for various agencies providing detection and patrol dogs for international contracts, served as a member of a federal US&R task force as a canine search specialist, served as a canine instructor for FEMA, a Canine Coordinator for a state US&R task force, and has certified and deployed his own canines on multiple disaster missions. He served on the canine sub-committee for the State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance for several years, is a graduate of the National SAR School, a certified instructor for a variety of specialty rescue disciplines, served as the training officer for his local fire department, and continues to work closely with law enforcement agencies to enhance their canine detection resources.
Darrell has written and presented courses designed to enhance the canine resources for Urban Search and Rescue teams across the country and delivered additional canine courses internationally
Darrell was the co- founder of a successful non-profit organization established in TN. He has been instrumental in developing canine programs for other national non-profit organizations including organizations dedicated to providing, urban search and rescue teams, service dogs for physical disabilities, and organizations dedicated to providing service dogs for individuals with psychological disorders.
Darrell currently serves on the Sports Medicine Advisory Council for the University Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. While his primary focus is on injury prevention and maintaining dog’s in peak performance condition, he is equally dedicated to advancing and improving canine rehabilitation should an injury occur.
Darrell is extremely passionate about ensuring working dogs are properly conditioned and appropriately prepared to meet the operational performance expectations demanded of our nation’s canine resources. He dedicates his time to researching, developing, and enhancing canine injury prevention and maintenance programs. Using his own experience and knowledge gained from operational missions, gathering information from his strong professional networks in a variety of canine related disciplines, Darrell hopes to advance and extend the working life of our nation’s canine partners.