The annual certification tests of Emergency Ministry’s canine service have started at the Noginsk Rescue Center and will continue for 2 weeks.
More than 100 search dog units from all regions of Central Federal Districts and SAR dog services of the Tsentrospas team, canine service of the 294th Center for high-risk rescue operations Leader and 46th canine center of the Noginsk Rescue Center taking the tests.
The program is rather busy one. It includes mountain and forest search training sessions, water rescue, special disciplines. The units are going to practice actions in the mountainous areas and transportation of dogs to the emergency site.
In addition, the dog handlers together with their dogs are going to take tests in SAR service at three stages: obedience and adroitness – special complex of adroitness exercises and following commands from a dog handler, search for people in the words and under rubbles.
The panel of judges will evaluate performance of the dog handler and the dog separately and will give a complex assessment of the actions of the unit as a whole. The general points will be given considering the coherence, mutual understanding and eventually effectiveness of the unit during SAR operations.
The tests are going to finish with giving the search dog units certificates enabling them to take part in SAR operations next year.
The Emergency Ministry’s search dog service was established on 20 June 1996 by several rescuers from the Tsentrospas Team who had started training search and rescue dogs in 1993. Now there are more than 600 search dog units. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Belgian Shepherds, Russian Spaniels, Dobermann Pinschers and Dachshunds are used as search dogs. These breeds are very sturdy and can work in the worst weather. They are also very willing to help a human, especially the one in trouble.
In 1995, after an earthquake in the town of Neftegorsk, dog handlers with their dogs showed themselves in action for the first time. The search and rescue dogs then found more than 40 people buried under debris.
A spaniel named Lyonka is a legend among dog handlers. He saved the largest number of people. His monument was opened at the Tsentrospas Team in 2011, dedicating it to the 15th anniversary of the Emergency Ministry’s search dog service.
Specialists of the service take active part in the events held by the International Rescue Dog Organization (IRO) and closely cooperates with rescue dog handlers of CIS countries.