Active Voluntary Organisation
BIRD is an active voluntary organisation that has been based in North Wales for the past 20 years. Following a review of the Lockerbie disaster, it was realised that there was an increased need for specialised dogs for this and and possible future type’s of search. Initially four teams evolve:. Ourselves, Rapid UK, Canis and the fire service. BIRD was then formed in 1995 by local men and women dog handlers who were keen and willing to train dogs for disaster work both nationally and internationally. The dog section of our team has over the past 20 years prepared dogs to search for survivors and indirectly dead bodies (for return to loved ones) from such disasters as earthquakes, water, landslides, building collapses and explosions anywhere in the world.
Deployed to Disasters Abroad
The team has had a very active role being deployed abroad for various earthquake disasters in Turkey (twice), Pakistan, Iran, India and Algeria we have also deployed abroad for humanitarian aid to Mozambique, Gambia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. We have also assisted in the April Jones case and a missing lady in Caernarfon. Training for the disaster search work has taken us to many varied, physically and mentally demanding search areas. We are fortunate that in our area of North Wales we have access to 4 large quarries where we can as closely as possible, simulate disaster scenarios and can work with the expertise within the team and with outside agencies. We can work on areas underground, waterside, rubble and collapsed and standing structures using a variety of Search and entry techniques including rope and breach access.
High Level of Varied Expertise
We are confident that our team has a high level of varied expertise within its members and that the 6 qualified dogs that we have trained can cope with most search scenarios because of the attention paid to regular training sessions including evenings and full weekends. We also have an assessed tracking dog based in Ireland. The handlers and dogs have been prepared and assessed over the 20 years by internal and external assessors, although the final quality mark has obviously only been given by an external assessor. We are now refocusing our expertise with working mainly in the UK with our new adventure of training dogs for cadaver and water search for which purpose we have just purchased a new boat. As stated the team are extremely experienced and trained to a high standard and we are looking to promote the team to various organizations to offer our expertise.