B.I.R.D to the rescue in Algeria
The British Inter-national Search and Rescue Dogs (B.I.R.D) team, based in North Wales have urgently gone to Boumerdes, Algeria at the request of the Department for International Development, to assist in the earthquake rescue operation.
A huge operation is under way to find survivors trapped under the rubble in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake which took place on the 21st May. The eight-member team from Llandudno, Colwyn Bay and Conwy - plus Tess, a highly skilled Jack Russell rescue dog - will be in Algeria for 7 to 10 days offering their skills and expertise in the rescue operation.
All B.I.R.D members are unpaid volunteers on constant standby. Teams have previously been deployed to search, rescue, alleviate suffering and ultimately save lives in earthquakes, flood and war zones across the world.
B.I.R.D is divided into three main sections. All members have general operational and camp management skills but specialise as either a Dog Handler, Operational Support member or Medic. Due to the nature of the conditions B.I.R.D works under, it is essential that roles are flexible. If necessary, dog handlers need also to be competent as Operational Support members.
The team relies financially on the continuous generosity of a number of primary sponsors as they have to buy their own equipment and work wear. Purina Pro Plan provides B.I.R.D with essential equipment and protective clothing. They also rely upon the fund raising efforts of the team itself, through flag days, fetes, talks and raffles.
B.I.R.D forms part of Purina Pro Plans Protection Team, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the vital role played by the UKs 2000+ professional protection dogs in saving lives and protecting the public from crime. The team brings together the most prolific dogs from B.I.R.D, the Police Force, Prison Service, Customs & Excise, SARDA, and the Metropolitan Breeding Centre.