The purpose is to strengthen the firefighting and rescue response systems in Medellín, Valle de Aburrá, and other municipalities in Antioquia that are participating in the training.
A total of 28 members from official and volunteer firefighting and rescue groups from Valle de Aburrá and other municipalities in Antioquia are taking part in the training session with the most prominent Spanish-speaking expert in canine search and rescue. This expert is Álvaro Martínez Arroyo, who has 27 years of experience in the field and is currently in the city thanks to an international technical cooperation project by the Regional Government of Castilla y León in Spain, DAGRD, and ACI Medellín.
The recent case of the dog Wilson in Guaviare, which allowed for the successful location and rescue of four minors, reaffirms the importance of canines in these operations. “The dog, nowadays, is the best tool to locate and rescue people; there is no other tool capable of surpassing a search and rescue dog in terms of abilities and reliability,” expressed Álvaro Martínez, the Spanish expert.
This training is based on a different approach to canine training, employing a much more holistic methodology. The guide is provided with principles and scientific studies on canine training, which allows for a broader perspective and improvement in the training of search and rescue dogs. “Technical support and strengthening, both in operational and academic aspects, enable the partnerships in our metropolitan area to grow stronger. DAGRD and the Official Fire Department of Medellín have made this space available for co-creation, jointly strengthening the search and locating capabilities with canines,” said Laura Duarte, director of DAGRD.
The training provided to emergency response and firefighting organizations, including Medellín’s Fire Department, consists of 450 hours. Soon, the guides will further reinforce their learning in this first part through a virtual course with the University of Burgos, Spain. In October, the expert will return to Medellín, and next year, those who complete the entire process will travel to Spain to conclude their training and receive certification.
Among the participants are members of DAGRD, Medellín’s firefighters, Bello, Sabaneta, Envigado, San Jerónimo, the National Fire Department, and rescue organizations such as the Red Cross, Garsa Group, Aeronautical Search and Rescue, Carabineros, Police Rescue, and support groups.