Coast emergency crews on hunt for dogs to join K9 squad

THEY say a dog is a man’s best friend. But in a disaster, man’s best friend could also be somebody’s saviour.

It’s why the Sunshine Coast based Queensland Fire and Emergency crew is searching for more handlers to join the urban search and rescue (USAR) K9 squad.

QFES spokesman Brad Gardner said the squad is called to help with search and rescue missions involving natural disasters, building collapses and entrapments.

“It is a small and highly-trained squad, and two of the handlers and their canines are based on the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“The dogs go in sniffing to see if there are any survivors…it is an interesting and very vital part of the QFES service.”

Mr Gardner said dog handlers and their canines can be deployed anywhere, even overseas.

“There is a whole lot of testing involved for both the handler and the dog,” he said.

“A lot of puppies from the pound make the squad; the most common breed of dog being Jack Russells.

“But we have seen even chihuahuas used over in China or Japan; the more agile the dog is the better.

“But really it comes down to their temperament and how well they take to the training.”

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