International Mission Test

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