Training was used to allowing for both CFA staff and SARDA dog handlers to gain a better understanding of the capabilities that both services have to offer and to develop strong working relationships.
SARDA is a charitable, non-profit volunteer organisation incorporated in 1994 and is based in Victoria and also with teams in Queensland. SARDA currently trains its teams for assessment and deployment in Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) with Australian USAR taskforces.
The two weekend training sessions were conducted using the old Dandenong fire station site at 120 Princes Hwy, Dandenong. A training facility was constructed on level 3 of the building and this was to be used for search and rescue training for the dogs and handlers. The complex’s ground floor was filled with smoke, to add a further search challenge for the dogs and their handlers. Check out this amazing video and all the incredible work these Search and Rescue Dogs do in Australia.
Watch the amazing training exercises
They used the Dandenong’s 42-metre ladder platform to lift the dogs and handlers, to become familiar with heights. The dogs were then craned on to the complex roof and training tower, using the dog harness from the SARDA USAR2 cache.
CFA Rope rescue instructors also practised with repelling the dogs and the handlers from the training tower. This provided the dogs and handlers with the invaluable experience of working at heights and CFA’s rescue systems.
After the success of the first two training days, a long-lasting partnership has now been formed that will see Dandenong’s B Platoon and SARDA members train together four to five times a year in various disciplines.