CRSAR currently has one EMBC recognized SAR Dog Team. The use and success of using dog teams on
searches are becoming recognized universally.
In order to qualify as a team in B.C., a number of requirements must first be met:
- Potential handlers must be registered with Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) as an
active member of a local Ground Search and Rescue (SAR) Group and have been GSAR certified for a
minimum of 2 years.
- All handlers must hold a valid First Aid Certificate and must be in good physical condition, be competent in wilderness environments, extremely competent with navigation and communications, and have a
genuine interest in dogs and the SAR Dog program. The upcoming RCMP national standard for validation may include other requirements as well.
- The dog must be under 2 years of age and must pass an assessment to determine if it has the drive and physical capability to be a working search dog. This is done through the BC Search Dog Association at
one of their semi-annual provincial training camps.
The process of training a dog to the validation standard is time-consuming and can take up to 2 years from the time of passing puppy assessment. At the completion of training, an evaluator, as designated by the
RCMP Pacific Region Dog Service Supervisor will carry out the evaluation, which is made up of a mock search scenario and an obedience test. Dog Teams must re-validate on an annual basis.
When the EMBC SAR Dog Team has been successfully certified, it may then be called upon by either the
RCMP or EMBC to work on a search under the direction of the RCMP Dog Team assigned to that search.
CRSAR deploys K9 teams on a variety of SAR calls from missing persons to evidence searches, and our
dog team also assists other SAR teams on Vancouver Island with mutual aid on searches.