If you've been following our Facebook page or Twitter, you will probably have seen the many changes that our unit has undergone in the last few years. But if you haven't, here is a quick summary to keep you up to date:
We are a Unit
About two years ago, the State Emergency Services recognised us as a unit. Previous to this, we were known as the SES Canine Section. This means that there are a few administrative changes but in terms of training and deployment, it's business as usual.
SWORD - Knights in shining armour with their faithful hounds?
Not quite. The Canine Unit, along with mounted, communications support, logistics and a volunteer firefighter unit now come under the State Wide Operational Response Division (SWORD). Based out of Kewdale, Western Australia, SWORD is a logistical base that allows various units to mobilise quickly and also provide logistical support to operations across Western Australia. It's the first of its kind in Western Australia although these sorts of facilities are quite common in the eastern states.
Old dogs, new dogs, new tricks?
We have several new faces around the unit including those of the furry kind and we've also had to say goodbye to some as well. If you check out our pages on the side menu, you can see which are the operational dogs, what they do and our retired dogs.
The land down under!
We now have a Southern Section attached to our unit. This provides a search dog capability in the southern region of Western Australia. Although our metro based handlers can respond to searches all across Western Australia (we've received and responded to callouts in the Wheatbelt, Midwest Gascoyne, South West and Great Southern), the southern section allows area search dogs and a tracking dog to respond quickly to emergencies in this area.
That's all folks
We will slowly be updating the blog to contain information on the types of dogs we train, what you can do to help us (even if you're not interesting in being a handler) and where you can find us at events. For more information, contact us on the forms located on the side menu or message us through Facebook or Twitter.