Ghaziabad: With regular training, canines become indispensible part of NDRF
NDRF officials said they treat dogs enlisted in the force like their own childrenUpdated: Oct 14, 2017 22:22 IST
Officials of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said dogs enrolled in the force, especially breeds such as German shepherds and labradors, are the most obedient lot and have become an indispensible part of the force over time. They are especially needed for assignments that include search and rescue work in difficult terrains or urban landscapes.
They added that a said a squad of two dogs always accompanies rescue teams. The canines are trained for nearly 90 weeks before the NDRF sends them on relief and rescue operations.
“A dog serves the force for nearly 10 years. During the initial training, we use toys to teach them. They are then taught to detect the smell of human beings, which is crucial for tracing people buried inside debris,” an NDRF official said.
During the initial training, the dogs are taught to follow basic commands such as ‘lie down’, ‘stand up’, ‘salute,’ ‘sleep’. Once they learn all these, they start to become disciplined. Once a command is given, they follow it. They do not falter or leave the spot even if there are distractions, an NDRF official said.
During the higher level of training, the dogs are familiarised with public places so that they can perform their duties in crowded and urban areas. This is important because a lot a commotion takes places at any incident site. People run for shelter and use of life saving equipment is the key to conducting relief and rescue operations.
“They are just like naughty children in a classroom. While some are brilliant, others are mediocre or not good enough to make the grade. They become an indispensible part of our teams and their send-off on retirement is always a sombre and emotional occasion. We really get worried when they retire and are handed over to their purchasers. Generally, dog lovers buy them at auction,” Har Singh, another handler from the battalion, said.
“Two of our dogs have gone to nearby Harsaon village after auction. They have been our friends and we treated them like our children. We will regularly pay them a visit to see how they are coping with the outside world,” he added.
First Published: Oct 14, 2017 22:22 IST