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Alex Fraser supporting the Search and Rescue Dogs Australia (SARDA)

Date: 30-Oct-2015

Alex Fraser regularly allows the volunteers at Search And Rescue Dogs Australia (SARDA) and their canines to use its facilities in Victoria and Queensland.

In the event of an earthquake or similar disaster, specially trained dogs help to find victims buried in rubble. Alex Fraser provides its Clarinda and Laverton sites in Victoria to Search and Rescue Dogs Australia (SARDA), a non-profit volunteer organisation, to conduct canine training and assessments. In 2014, Alex Fraser helped SARDA to train dogs and their handlers by providing site access to the Clarinda site once or twice a month, as well as several times at Laverton, and pre-preparing safe hiding places for SARDA personnel to wait for the dogs to find them.

SARDA also used the Clarinda site to showcase their capabilities to the Victorian Police Dog Squad and Metropolitan Fire Brigade which led to the Victoria Police Dog Squad acknowledging that SARDA urban search and rescue teams would be capable of deploying as ‘disaster dogs’ on behalf of the Victorian Police Dog Squad and Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

On 26 October, two members of Victoria Police Dog Squad conducted operational assessments with five SARDA canine teams to qualify for national and international deployment. All five teams passed.

Currently SARDA has nine dog teams – five operational and four teams working towards their operational status, most of which are younger dogs.

The training undertaken at Alex Fraser sites readies SARDA for emergencies such as the 2009 Black Saturday bush fires, when two SARDA handlers provided assistance to the Victoria Police Forensics to locate victims, for which they were awarded the National Emergency Medal.

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