In a disaster, search and rescue dogs do the work that no one else can do. Julie Cowan is the founder of Search and Rescue Dogs Australia (SARDA). Julie has been instrumental in developing canine search and rescue capability in Australia. She was a member of the consultative committee which assisted in the development of the Australian Urban Search & Rescue Canine Capability Best Practice Guideline Version 1.1 (November 2009). To say that Julie is passionate about her dogs is an understatement. Her enthusiasm for her dogs and the craft of search and rescue is truly incredible.
Black Saturday Bushfire Deployment
Two SARDA search dog teams were deployed following the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Black Saturday was one of the most catastrophic bushfires in Australia’s history. The dogs from SARDA were the first dog teams in Australia to receive the National Emergency Medal.
SARDA and Firefighters Train Together at Dandenong Fire Station
Training for a Disaster – Selection and Accreditation
The SARDA website contains comprehensive information about the Selection, Training and Accreditation for search and rescue dogs. SARDA dog teams are assessed by qualified, external assessors against international and Australian standards. These include
- INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group),
- FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency, USA), and
- The Australian Best Practice Guidelines.
- A Strategic Framework for Volunteer Search Dogs in Australia A guide for future action
- Here is an excellent article from Technical Rescue Magazine on how USAR Dogs work in a disaster.
Thank you to SARDA’s sponsors
SARDA could not survive without donations and sponsorship. SARDA’s key sponsors include:
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