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Jasmine Segura

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Lifetime's Remarkable Women campaign honors extraordinary women who inspire and empower others to make a difference in their communities and the world.
Firefighter and paramedic Jasmine Segura of the Los Angeles County Fire Department is Cadillac’s handler. Back in March 2007, when Cadillac was paired with Jasmine, it was an adjustment for everyone. Jasmine's new routine included walking and feeding the dog, and packing for him in order to leave the house. She remembers thinking it was like putting together a diaper bag for a baby when getting ready to take Cadillac to work. But she got through it because she "loves the crazy, goofy guy and his spirit." "He is very calm — until he sees a toy," says Jasmine. "Then he turns into Cujo. He is very driven and would go through a brick wall to reach a toy." Playing with toys is a treat reserved for training. "Search should be the biggest fun in their life," Jasmine explains. If there is no training for several days, Cadillac will bring her a leaf and beg her to play tug with him. Some dogs take their time climbing a pile of debris, but Cadillac will run up a big rubble pile. But if Jasmine needs to give Cadillac direction, she relies on a whistle to command him to stop, sit and stay. "It is impressive to see Cadillac go from a full run to a sit," Jasmine says. "I love that he has an on/off switch." Jasmine and Cadillac passed their FEMA Certification in April 2008, and remain ready to deploy at a moment's notice to disasters around the world as part of Los Angeles County Task Force 2 (CA-TF2), which can be deployed internationally. The pair maintain a rigorous training schedule, and they were more than ready when called to one of the biggest disasters to hit the Western Hemisphere in 200 years: a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the island nation of Haiti. On January 14, 2010, Jasmine and Cadillac were deployed to Port-au-Prince with Los Angeles County Task Force 2. They searched for 16 days, combing the wreckage in search of victims still alive under acres of concrete and debris. Together with six other Canine Disaster Search Teams trained by the Search Dog Foundation, Jasmine and Cadillac helped bring 12 people to safety. On March 11, 2011, Jasmine and Cadillac were deployed to Japan with Los Angeles County Task Force 2 as one of the six Canine Disaster Search Teams trained by the Search Dog Foundation. The 72-member L. A. Task Force, along with Virginia Task Force 1, was mobilized by USAID and sent into the disaster zone to comb the wreckage in search of live victims.