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Southern Cross Search Dogs Victoria Inc

Southern Cross Search Dogs (SCSD) is a volunteer not-for-profit organisation to service the needs of the Australian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces by providing canine USAR capabilities to find survivors in the event of building collapse. SCSD is an organisation of volunteers who train their own dogs for the purpose of finding people buried under rubble such as collapsed buildings due to explosions, earthquakes, or landslides. SCSD is based in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Our members are dedicated to training their dogs for this unique and valuable search service. Past and present dog teams have included a range of handlers from various backgrounds and several dog breeds including German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies and even a Lagotto. Formerly known as Australian Swiss Search Dog Association (founded in 1995), the organisation was one of the pioneers of canine search and rescue in Australia, and became Southern Cross Search Dogs in March 2014. Through its association with REDOG (Swiss Search and Rescue Dog Association), SCSD has access to highly qualified and experienced trainers and their up-to-date training methods. This is invaluable in the training and preparation of SCSD teams to meet the Australian Canine USAR Standard and Best Practice Guidelines. REDOG trainers and assessors regularly visit Australia and SCSD trainers and assessors regularly attend courses in Switzerland to update their own knowledge. USAR exercises, symposiums and workshops in Australia and overseas are also regularly attended by our members to ensure that all SCSD members have access to current international best practice. Deployment of our teams is initiated by the Emergency Response Agencies. SCSD is part of Australia's Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) capability. Our members work together with the USAR Taskforces of the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Services (SAMFS), Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), Queensland Fire and Rescue Services (QFRS Special Operations), also with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and State Emergency Service (SES).