Though the dogs are trained to pick up live human scent, Riley said it was possible the baby was covered in so much dirt and junk that the dogs missed his scent. And the rescuers were working against the clock. A cold front with hail and lightning was moving into the area within a few hours, so the the rescuers had a small window in which to work before they would have to stand down for the storm to pass.
The next search of the area was scheduled for daylight, and the rescuers agree that it would have been too cold for the baby to survive.
Keith Douglas, interim emergency medical services director for Sumner County, who reported to the scene after the discovery, said that the tornado hit the area at approximately 10:15 p.m. Tuesday. The baby had only a few scratches on him, but rescuers were concerned about his temperature.
"Even though temperatures weren't drastically cold, the baby had been wet from the rain and out there for several hours, and that can take quite a toll for a baby body's ability to maintain temperature," he said.
The boy was reunited with his maternal grandparents and his stepfather, who'd survived the tornado.
Kyson was a hardy infant, Douglas said.
"You always hope there are survivors, but after going on for a couple hours the reality of finding a survivor is slim, once it gets to that point," he said.
Harmon said, "Something like this, I guess it gives you a little bit of a happy ending to a traumatic night. It makes everything you do worth the training and worth the time you put into it. You deal with death and dying all the time, and when you have something good like that, it helps."
Riley said, "It's a real big morale booster. It made everyone see all this training, and this one chance to make a difference. It's all worth it."