Page 11 - HOT NEWS MARCH 2014
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PURSUITS
A week-long training session involving search and “We have very good facilities and sites in Merseyside to rescue dogs from 11 fire and rescue services across the provide excellent training for search and rescue dogs UK has taken place in Merseyside. from across the UK. It is very important the dogs and
their handlers undertake regular training to ensure they are ready to respond to any incident or situation where their skills are needed. Search and Rescue dogs are a very important part of our response and developing strong relationships between handlers and their canines is essential. The week went very well.”
The canine teams were from Greater Manchester, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear, Hampshire, Avon, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire along with Mid and West Wales fire and rescue services. Two dogs from NSARDA (National Search & Rescue Dog Teams) also took part.
Firefighter Darren Booth, from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, who attended the course with springer spaniel Spencer, said: “It was an action-packed week of training including confined space, CPL appliance, rubble pile, hazmat and wide area search. For me the highlight of the week was working with the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service
(MF&RS) hovercraft and boats, transferring the dogs from one to another on the water. It was outstanding and I’d like to say a big thanks to MF&RS and their USAR team for their help all week.”
The canines boarded inflatable boats on the River Mersey, searched the collapsed structure rubble pile at the Training and Development Academy in Croxteth, and were lifted on to the roof of a number of the training rigs from the platform of an aerial fire appliance while they were wearing safety harnesses.
The training was organised by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Crew Manager Jo Stephens, who is the Merseyside Search and Rescue Team dog handler.
She said: “Canine teams from all over the country spent a week training at various locations across Merseyside including the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Training and Development Academy in Croxteth.
The training covered canine water search operations, open area searches, working at height and in confined spaces and working at height on the platform of an aerial fire appliance.
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The canine teams that took part in the training. Photos: Chris Phillips.
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