TRAINING DAY: Police pooches put through their paces

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RESCUERS: GEA members at the La Nucia training ground. Photo credit: La Nucia town hall

THE GEA search and rescue groups from Cadiz and Alicante joined USAR 13 on a training day in La Nucia.

All use specially-trained dogs in rescue operations following natural disasters and the session at La Nucia’s Search and Rescue Dogs Training Centre was an exercise in improving coordination and teamwork while optimising time and resources.

Local search and rescue group USAR 13 and the GEA groups, which have branches in several Spanish cities, are non-profitmaking volunteer associations who use their specially trained dogs in rescue operations.

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The training ground resembles a disaster area after an earthquake, with tunnels, pits and hollows created from the rubble, pillars and rafters of demolished building as well as boulders and other materials.

The municipal installation in La Nucia is one of the few permanent training grounds for search and rescue dogs in Spain and is used by the Army’s UME emergency rescue unit as well as the different police forces.

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