Search and rescue dogs will soon crawl through pieces of an old Franklin water slide at Camp Atterbury as part of their training.
The Franklin Parks Department plans to replace the current slide at the Franklin Memorial Swimming Pool before next summer. Instead of throwing the old one away, military officials have asked to recycle the slide at the Camp Atterbury search and rescue training center.
The parks department plans to pay for the new slide with money from a $3.6 million loan it received in August, parks superintendent Chip Orner said. The slide will cost about $350,000, according to the parks department.
The Camp Atterbury training center offers courses for military and police officers and dogs, according to the organization’s website. Facility officials at the center plan to take apart the donated water slide and use its pieces in field training.
The tower of the slide will be used for fire rescue training, and the tube of the slide will be cut into pieces and hidden in a pile of rubble for search and rescue dogs to crawl through, Camp Atterbury facilities coordinator Charles Banta said.
Trainers can place body parts from human cadavers in the tubes for the dogs to sniff out, and crawling through the tubes will allow the dogs to get used to searching in the dark, Banta said.
“We thought it was a cool reuse of it. We would have just crunched it up, and that’d be it,” Orner said.