Dogs have long been a valued Resource during search and rescue operations. The responsibility for searching with dogs falls to the RCMP Police Dog Services (PDS). In recent time, a process to be able to validate civilian dog teams was established with the cooperation of the Emergency Management BC, the RCMP PDS and the BC Search Dog Association following various models such as the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association.
Civilian Search dog teams use a variety of different breeds of dogs; all must go through initial training which is very labour intensive and time consuming and not all dogs are suitable to work under these conditions. Training is consistent with the EMBC course training standard for Search and Rescue dogs and all dogs must be validated on an annual basis, by the RCMP. Once a search dog team is validated , training is ongoing to meet the Stringent standards required to revalidate annually.
Chilliwack SAR is fortunate to have three such validated teams who are deployed under the direction of the RCMP PDS.