From 11 to 15 May 2022, the IRO Mission Readiness Test Area Search took place in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. A total of 33 teams from nine nations took part in this international top level mission test - 20 of them passed.
The IRO member organisation Društvo enota vodnikov reševalnih psov Ljubljana (EVRPL), hosted the test, during which the emergency case was rehearsed under real conditions for several days. The teams were constantly on standby and had to arrive at the site in the shortest possible time when the alarm was raised, and after a short briefing they began their search work. During the briefing, the search and rescue dog handlers were informed that several participants of a survival camp were missing after a heavy storm.
Day and night deployments
Each search and rescue dog team had to complete two searches during the day and one at night. At daytime, they had to systematically search two approximately six-hectare forest areas for missing persons. At night, they had to search a three-kilometre stretch of roadside. The teams had 60 minutes for each of these tasks.
The mission test is very realistic and places extremely high demands on the search and rescue dog teams, both physically and mentally. Not only the requirement to find the missing persons as quickly as possible, but also the fact of not knowing how many victims are in the search area, require mental stability from both human and dog.
From orientation in the terrain to first aid
The performance of the teams was evaluated by an international team of classifiers during the entire mission test. The handling and orientation with GPS as well as the performance of first aid measures on the own dog were tested too. Under the supervision of a veterinarian, the handlers had to professionally treat four types of injuries.
We would like to thank EVRPL for the excellent organisation as well as all participants, helpers, hiding persons and supporters. We also thank our honorary IRO Classifiers for their dedication and commitment.
Photos: Denis Gregorčič