National Disaster Response Force’s (NDRF) dog squad have provided training to Blaze and Tiger, which will support the personnel in search and rescue operations. Unlike the traditional regulations, Blaze and Tiger do not belong to the breed of German Shepherd or Labradors, but are the “desi” breed, who are trained by NDRF’s eighth battalion as a novel experiment.
The battalion comprises of four stray dogs, adopted from Ghaziabad’s Govindpuram campus. Nearly 17 months old, Blaze and Tiger are trained, while the remaining two are 50 days old.
NDRF officials revealed the initiative to train “desi” breed comes from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vocal for local” concept.
PK Tiwary, commandant of the eighth NDRF battalion at Govindpuram said, “We have started this new experiment. So far, we were involved in training German Shepherds and Labradors as part of the dog-squad’s search-and-rescue operation. Training strays is a bit difficult, when it comes to consistency. But they are doing well.”
He further added, “The strays have an edge, as they are acclimatised and require less care than the other breeds we have.”
Currently, the battalion has 20 days who are efficiently trained and Blaze and Tiger will join the team after completion of training.
Sandeep Kumar, the trainer of the stray dogs at NDRF said, “Blaze and Tiger have completed 40 weeks of training. Soon, they will team up with German Shepherds and Labradors for the search-and-rescue operations. This will be the toughest part of the training exercise, as the ‘desis’ are not friendly to the other breeds that we have.”
Sandeep further added, “We are pulling out all stops to train Blaze and Tiger, who are puny and less bulky than other breeds that we have. They are likely to prove more successful in search-and-rescue missions. Team work is the key to their success, which will be the most crucial phase of the training that starts soon.”
The trained dogs of the battalion have been quite a support during the 2011 Tsunami rescue operations in Japan and 2015 Nepal earthquake and for various missions of the country.