International Rescue Dog Exercise, Ljubljana 2019
Between 17th and 19th of May 2019 DVRPS organized 21st international rescue dog exercise with the assistance of the City of Ljubljana, Department of Protection and Rescue and Civil Defense.
The exercise involved 23 teams from Slovenia , Austria, Croatia, Italy and Germany. The exercise scenarios were adapted to the real situation in case of a devastating earthquake in Ljubljana.
Beside rescue dog teams, there were following teams that participated in the exercise as well: Leadership Support Team, ZR Forces Logistics Unit, Volunteer Firefighting Societies, City Scouts Association, Union of Slovenian Catholic Scouts and Mountain Rescue Association Ljubljana.
In 24 hours, the teams completed 12 tasks. In addition to psychophysical readiness for orientation hiking, rope technique and boat transport, they had to show, above all, an ability to find missing persons burried under rubble and lost in nature. They had to administer first aid as well.
As the exercise was designed to imitate the real situation as much as possible, a Reception Center and a Base Camp were created, in which the teams were in accordance with INSARAG guidelines required to self-supply with equipment, accommodation and food.
The work of rescue teams was evaluated by judges - assessors.
The main criterion for evaluation was the number of persons found. Now we can say that each team had to find ten people; they didn't know this before. All ten missing were found by the German team ASB MÜNCHEN. Three were the lowest number of persons found by any of the teams.
Once again it was proved that the average success of finding the missing in ruins and nature is just under 70%. This is a confirmation of the fact that in earthquakes lives are saved by earthquake-designed, constructed and maintained facilities.
Rescuers can find and rescue few people - only a fraction of those who are in earthquake-defective facilities and they survive the facility demolition.
These kind of exercises are the perfect test of teamwork performance. Experience and building mutual trust, both among rescue pairs and rescuers themselves, are also crucial for participating in real search interventions, whose number is slowly but steadily increasing in Slovenia.
Compiled and written by: Dušan Weber