TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Six search and rescue dog teams from Taiwan have passed certification exams in the 2019 Mission and Readiness Test (MRT) Asia hosted by the National Fire Agency.
Teams from the fire agencies of Taiwan’s five municipalities — Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Pingtung — as well as Japan’s Rescue Dog Trainers’ Association (RDTA), met the requirements of the tests conducted between Nov. 5 and 7. The event saw the participation of 18 teams from Taiwan and abroad.
The human-canine teams were asked to complete challenges in seven scenarios, with each session lasting 20 minutes. How the dog trainers employed their tactics and devised emergency search plans were among the judging criteria, reported CNA.
The judging panel comprised 10 members from the International Search and Rescue Dog Organization (IRO), including Denis Laus. The design of the exam circuit took into consideration natural disasters that Taiwan is most susceptible to, including collapsed buildings and tunnels, mudslides, and landslides.
Search and rescue dogs in Taiwan usually retire at the age of seven or eight, according to the Ministry of the Interior. The government encourages the public to adopt them to ensure a happy post-retirement life for the canines that dedicate their lives to serving the country.