201410.09

Search and Rescue Dogs Australia receive funding boost


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Federal Member for Dunkley Bruce Billson today announced a Federal Natural Disaster Resilience grant of $27,050 has been secured for the local volunteer organisation Search and Rescue Dogs Australia Inc. (SARDA), to deliver an internationally recognised Canine Search Specialist Training course.

Mr Billson said SARDA approached his office last year seeking support in their application to the Natural Disaster Resilience Scheme to bring two Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Instructors out to Australia from the USA to deliver the course.

“This Canine Search Specialist Training Course will bring Australian Disaster Dog Teams capability up to International standard,” Mr Billson said.

“I’m pleased to have supported SARDA to secure this much needed funding for the volunteer based, not-for-profit organisation which provides specially trained search and rescue dogs, handlers and support personnel to assist Australian Emergency Services in the location of trapped and missing people.”

SARDA Secretary and Training Coordinator Julie Cowan said the funding will ensure the teams receive valuable training and can continue to provide assistance during emergencies.

“SARDA specialises in Urban Search & Rescue, a service available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year at no cost to the community,” Mrs Cowan said.

“We provided disaster response assistance after the Black Saturday Bushfires in 2009, with two operational dog teams providing a search resource to the Emergency Service Forensic teams by locating human remains quickly and efficiently.

“On behalf of all SARDA members, I would like to thank Mr Billson for his support in securing this Natural Disaster Resilience Scheme funding and for his ongoing support over the years.”

The specialist training course will be held at the newly developed Melbourne Fire Brigade (MFB) Victorian Emergency Training Centre in Craigieburn from 16th – 20th November 2014.