KAMLOOPS – Dogs play an important role in aiding search and rescue members with their missions.
That’s why the British Columbia Search Dog Association was in Kamloops last week to provide 26 members and 18 dogs with hands-on dog training, including helicopter training for the canines.
Krista McEwen is the president of the B.C. Search Dog Association and says the training allows for search and rescue dog handlers to get comfortable with helicopters to help the RCMP conduct thorough searches.
“Quite often to get into certain locations, we need a helicopter, because it’s just so remote, we can’t get in by vehicle or quad so we just use a helicopter,” McEwen says. “It’s a lot faster getting the patient out, it’s a lot faster to get them to medical aid if they need it.”
It’s hard to predict how a dog might react around a noisy helicopter, which is why they do the training, McEwen says.
“With a lot of the noises, they get a little freaked, so we have got them on a very controlled choke chain and some are muzzled if they get a little rowdy and lash out,” she says.
The training is in collaboration with the RCMP Police Dog Service. Members practice how to load their dogs when the helicopter engine is on and off.
“We have the pilot fire (the engine) up, while we have the dogs sitting calmly, get everyone used to the (rotor) wash, everything flying around, the debris thatâs in the air,”Â she says.
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