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Susan

Susan Pritchard

Year of Award: 2015 Award State: New South Wales Animals > General
Emergency Services > General
To better integrate volunteer canine search capabilities with emergency services for search response - UK, Ireland, Switzerland, New Zealand
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From New Zealand, United States, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Switzerland I interviewed, trained and responded to searches with volunteer search dog organisations, Police and Emergency Service personnel. In these countries I was rewarded with knowledge, resources and experience from an international cohort of passionate, like-minded individuals, who had been practicing land, water and USAR search utilising volunteer search dog capabilities for decades.

The insights gained from this research are not difficult or costly, but could make a wealth of difference to search delivery and outcomes nationally. This could include a bank of volunteer search dog resources that could be drawn upon in the darkest of disasters when a dog’s nose is unrivalled in a pile of rubble or on a daily basis complimenting the efforts of volunteer ground search teams.

Through improved delivery of search methodology and training, development of standards to unify and strengthen volunteer search dog capabilities, clear protocols to register, activate, and deploy resources, the enhancement of search can bring us in line with the rest of the world.

It will take education, a shift in attitudes, goodwill and trust, but with better integration of volunteer search dog capabilities with Emergency Services, everybody in the community stands to benefit.

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