Andy W. wrote:Hi Chris,
welcome to the forum, as it happens I was in Croatia myself last week for the first time whilst on holiday. You have a very beautiful country and everyone was most welcoming (including excellent English spoken everywhere)!
Interesting to watch your videos, I have interest in this type of work too. So I have some questions! Are you volunteers that are called out by the police? Does the dog 'taste' the water from time to time? Are your dogs also used for crime scene elimination, i.e. is the dog used to indicate whether clothing found at a crime scene is contaminated by blood or body tissue at all? Finally what sort of test does the dog have to do before it is able to work operationally?
When working in the mountains aside from finding casulties from the war 20 years back, do you also have to watch out for land mines? I was warned to be very careful when walking in the hills because not all the mines have been found or cleared from the war and that many people are still being injured.
First of all thank you for showin interest in what we do.
I am really glad that you spend good time in Croatia. : ) And I hope you will come back, to see some more.
Now, about your questions:
The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (Hrvatska gorska služba spašavanja - HGSS) is a volunteer, not-for-profit and public organisation. It is specialised in rescuing in mountains, on rock faces, in caves and other unapproachable places where rescuing requires application of special mountain-rescue skills and equipment. Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and its members do not charge their rescue missions. Rescue is free for any rescued person. HGSS operations are stipulated by the Protection and Rescue Act and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service Act approved by Croatian parlament. HGSS is a coordinator in all SAR missions in Croatia, even the police is in charge of the missing person case.
So, now that I explained that, answer is yes, on cases like this one (cadaver case) we are called out by police.
- Does the dog 'taste' the water from time to time? Yes. They do.
- Are your dogs also used for crime scene elimination, i.e. is the dog used to indicate whether clothing found at a crime scene is contaminated by blood or body tissue at all? No, our dogs are not used for crime scene elimination, but our dogs will mark clothing contaminated by blood or blody tissue.
- Finally what sort of test does the dog have to do before it is able to work operationally? In HGSS we do have two tests; licence 1 and licence 2. To enter the first test, dog has to be 18 months or older. First test is a combination of short complex tests (from 10 min to 1hour). And dogs are working on live person. On licence 2, dog with the handler has to cover approximately 30 ha of hround within 5 hours (depending of terrain) and has to find one live person and one "not alive".
Now, since you have been to Croatia, I guess you know that Croatia is a land of great terrain diversity. This is just a sence of how does it looks like:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vk965TsfT30http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9SXwcUA ... kUidwe4%3D
Landmines are great concern of ours. Therefor we have updated maps of mined terrains. And if we are in doubt about some terrain, we do not risk : )
I hope I answered your questions.