On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Swiss Society of Search and Rescue Dogs calls for better recognition of volunteer work.
On the occasion of the festivities of its 50th anniversary (1971-2021) which take place this Saturday on the Federal Square in Bern, REDOG, the Swiss Society of Search and Rescue Dogs, is committed to promoting volunteering.
“At REDOG, what counts above all is to save lives and reduce distress”, explains Philipp Matthias Bregy, the central president of the association, during his speech. And in this context, the biggest and most important challenge to be met is volunteering because, as the association reminds us in a press release, “REDOG members generally sacrifice their leisure and are not paid”.
“We hope that, in general, volunteering will be better recognized, by the Confederation, but also by the cantons”, continues Mr. Bregy. “Political powers must seek solutions to recognize this work,” he repeats.
On the occasion of this anniversary, the Swiss Red Cross sent its congratulations to REDOG (tweet above). For his part, Manuel Bessler, head of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Corps, declared: “Good international coordination saves time and saves human lives. Swiss Humanitarian Aid can count on a long-standing and reliable collaboration with REDOG.”
REDOG has chosen to place this anniversary “under the motto of the transfer of know-how and exchange” with the authorities, the various emergency services, partner associations and specialists from all over the world. To this end, the organization has planned this summer “two weeks of training with international dog teams”. And a two-day seminar will be organized this autumn in Bern.
REDOG is a voluntary organization. In its press release, it explains that it has around 580 active members who “train in twelve regional groups spread throughout Switzerland”. Each year, its members contribute more than 100,000 hours of volunteering “simply out of a desire to serve society and offer humanitarian aid”.
Forming a dog/handler rescue team capable of intervening in the field is “a demanding task that takes time”, specifies REDOG. The training, which can take up to four years, “imposes on the dog and its master countless hours of exercises, examinations and continuous training”, recalls the organization.