Leitarhundar Slysavarnarfélagsins Landsbjargar
Search and Rescue Dog Association Iceland (SARDA Iceland)
The Association traines search and rescue dogs for rescue teams all over Iceland and provides dogs to search for missing persons wherever and whenever required; mountains, fields, cities, towns and villages, avalanche, rubble or wilderness. Our dogs cover them all anywhere in Iceland 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. WE ARE ALWAYS ON CALL
Leitarhundar S.L. / Search and Rescue Dog Association of Iceland (SARDA Iceland) was established 19th of May 1996 as an association of a volunteer rescue team members which have training of search dogs as a speciality in their hobby, which is saving human lives.
Since then we have worked hard to be among the best, here in Iceland as well as abroad, in training the handler and his dog. To be able to accomplish this we have had both instructors and assessors from other countries such as UK, Norway, Finland and Austria, as well have we sent our instructors abroad to observe how things are done in other countries.
We’ve earned a respect and trust from other Search dog associations abroad for the success we have had with our search dogs and our aim to be one of the leading organisations in this field has come true. Our new training methods and assessments rules in avalanche search are mostly based on our own experience that we got in 1995 in two major avalanches. The first was in January where a village was hit by a huge avalanche killing 12 people, the second in October where another village was hit killing 20 people. In both these avalanches our dogs played a huge part, several lives where saved and to find the bodies could not be done so quickly without the dogs.
Normally we have 20-25 search dogs on our callout list, all around the country, both to search in avalanches as well as fields and mountains, ready 24 hours a day all year long. Our aim is to have always at least 10 new dogs in training.
Right from the beginning we started to train all of our dogs in scent discrimination, avalanche dogs are trained to find people only but leave things like clothes, food and backpacks. This is done beacause our dogs are used in avalanches on towns and residential areas. This has worked very well. Training weekends/exercises are held every other week through out the year. We have three to four courses every year , a winter course (avalanche) usually in March and inJune and September we have a summer course (wilderness search). The winter course takes 5 days which are used to solve minor problems in training and assess the dogs, while the summer courses only take 3 days and are mainly assessments. Usually we get judges from abroad, and they have been coming from Scotland, England, Norway, Austria and Finland among other countries. Also we have been in contact with National Sarda with request of cooperation.
SAR-Dogs and all Mountain Rescue teams come under the operational control of Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg (ICE-SAR) and work for the Police. Search and rescue teams work anywhere in Iceland, often travelling long distances to respond to call-outs. In practice handlers and dogs respond to requests from Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg (ICE-SAR) to assist in a wide variety of duties wherever and whenever required; mountains, fields, towns and villages, avalanche, rubbles or wilderness.
SAR-Dogs are employed in a wide range of incidents from avalanche to lost walkers, climbers and old people. When operating under the control of a Mountain Rescue search co-ordinator the handler and dog will follow instructions and integrate their abilities with that of other searchers.
What is Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg (ICE-SAR)?
ICE-SAR is the umbrella organisation for rescue teams in Icealnd. ICE-SAR was founded 1 July 1999 upon the merger of the National Life-saving Association of Iceland and Landsbjörg, the Association of Icelandic Rescue Teams. The number of volunteer units forming the association is about 230 rescue teams, accident prevention sections and youth sections. The association’s goals are to work toward the saving of human life and valuables and toward accident prevention. Its volunteers carry out invaluable work for society. ICE-SAR heavily emphasise an enduring and good relationship with the people of Iceland. Thousands of volunteers work unselfishly to prevent accidents and respond when catastrophe calls. More information on ICE-SAR www.landsbjorg.is
Want to visit us ? Have questions ? Contact Information:
Please contact us for futher information leitarhundar(at)leitarhundar.is
We welcome all inquiries and visits so don´t be shy to contact us.