KAJANG, Jan 31 — A collaboration has finally been established between the Civil Defence Force (APM) and the SAR Dogs association to jointly conduct search-and-rescue (SAR) operations, using the service of detection dogs.
APM chief Commissioner Aminurrahim Mohamed said the agency currently does not have animals assigned to its SAR efforts, but with the official involvement of SAR Dogs, rescue operations to save victims have been bolstered.
“This collaboration with SAR Dogs has been long established since 2019 but it was not in black-and-white. Today, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) was officially signed. Furthermore, it will save the cost of handling trained dogs, while it also grants clearance for the involvement of the public in SAR operations.
“APM’s Special Civil Defence Force (Paspa) will also be given exposure by training together with the SAR dogs to gain knowledge, training and expertise in handling canines for operations,” he said after witnessing the MOU signing ceremony between APM and SAR Dogs at GISBH Valley in Kajang here today.
The signing involved APM deputy chief Commissioner (Management) Datuk Ismail Mohd Zawawi and president of SAR Dogs Datuk Mohd Nordin Mohd Nor and the president of Persatuan Haiwan Terbiar Malaysia R. Kalaivanan.
Aminurrahim said so far, SAR Dogs have been involved with APM in three SAR operations, one of which was the landslide SAR operation at Father’s Organic Farm in Batang Kali last December.
Despite facing the constraints of allocation and assets, it will not stretch the APM resources to provide specialised sniffer dog training to its members in providing the public service.
So far, Paspa consists of 94 members exposed to special training. It intends to add 40 more members to the team and is currently in the process of spreading out its crew across the country in the event of a major disaster.
Meanwhile, Mohd Nordin said the association currently has as many as nine trained dogs along with their handlers.
“The training carried out with these dogs is always done in tandem with their handlers. The dogs we have are privately owned and trained by the owner themselves to ensure compatibility so the animal will obey the instructions given,” he said.
Mohd Nordin added that some of the nine dogs in question have already passed training and are ready to assist in SAR operations, while the other canines are still in the early stages of training.
“During the SAR operation in Batang Kali, there was a dog known as Tar involved on the first day of the mission. Tar was only deployed on the first day because it has the ability to sniff out living humans, in which the initial period of the disaster was a difference between life and death, to detect the scent of individuals who are still alive,” he said.