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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

15 October 2021, 09:01

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The participation of dogs in rescue operations is especially effective when the victim is unconscious, unable to respond and give any signal.

25 human lives have been saved since the beginning of the year by specialists from the cynological group of the capital’s Fire and Rescue Center. The unit consists of 13 people, including eight dog handlers. They work with eight certified dogs of various breeds. Their participation in rescue operations helps to reduce the search time.

“It takes about 10 people and eight hours to check a 500-square-meter site, and a dog handler with a dog and an accompanying person will do it in two to three hours. The average dog distinguishes about two million odors. Such a developed sense of smell allows the animal to detect the victim at a considerable distance in the natural environment and under the rubble when structures collapse. To become a dog handler’s assistant, an animal should not be too large and not too small, not show aggression, not be afraid of strangers, ”said Anna Nikitchenko, head of the dog group at the Moscow Fire and Rescue Center.

Service dogs are especially often used to search for people during the mushroom season. This fall, cynological groups were recruited to search for a man who got lost in the woods near the Rogovsky settlement, and went to search for two pensioners near the village of Zverevo and women in the Losiny Ostrov National Park. The lost people went to pick mushrooms and could not get out of the forest on their own. In addition to dog handlers, specialists from the fire and rescue teams of the Moscow Fire and Rescue Center, rescuers from the capital’s aviation center and volunteers joined the rescue operation.

In order to quickly deliver the dog group to the desired square and evacuate the victims, special equipment is used – a snow and swamp-going vehicle on a caterpillar track and an ATV. They can walk in snow and wetlands. Vehicles are equipped with specialized hand tools, lighting fixtures, stretchers and first aid stowage.

Cynologists and dogs regularly train at the site of the rescue squad with various shells. This helps animals not to be afraid of unstable surfaces and obstacles in the natural environment. In addition, specialists and their wards conduct weekly field practical training in forests, abandoned buildings, on rubble.

The main skill that a dog is taught is obedience, and the dog must also be able to report a found person with a loud bark. The dog must not approach the rescued person: he may be injured or frightened by the animal.

When teaching a mentor, remember: for a dog, searching is primarily a game. Cynologists constantly keep in good shape not only dogs, but also themselves, study the habits of animals and know how to understand their helper. After all, the better the tandem of the dog handler and his pet is united, the more chances there are in time to find a person and provide him with the necessary assistance.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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