Welcome to the Western Australia State Emergency Service Canine Unit

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Are you a field search controller, police officer or other emergency services personnel?

If you're wondering whether or not a search dog would be useful for your search, click here or find our page on Area Search Dogs vs. Tracking Dogs.

You can also contact us for further information as the weather, environment and/or timing can help or hinder a search dog.  Handlers will be able to give an objective assessment as to whether the dogs will be useful.

We are also happy for you to come to one of our training days and observe the dogs at work!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Canine Unit Updates 2018

What's New?

If you've been following our Facebook page or Twitter, you will probably have seen the many changes that our unit has undergone in the last few years.  But if you haven't, here is a quick summary to keep you up to date:

We are a Unit

About two years ago, the State Emergency Services recognised us as a unit.  Previous to this, we were known as the SES Canine Section.  This means that there are a few administrative changes but in terms of training and deployment, it's business as usual.

SWORD - Knights in shining armour with their faithful hounds?

Not quite.  The Canine Unit, along with mounted, communications support, logistics and a volunteer firefighter unit now come under the State Wide Operational Response Division (SWORD).  Based out of Kewdale, Western Australia, SWORD is a logistical base that allows various units to mobilise quickly and also provide logistical support to operations across Western Australia.  It's the first of its kind in Western Australia although these sorts of facilities are quite common in the eastern states.

Old dogs, new dogs, new tricks?

We have several new faces around the unit including those of the furry kind and we've also had to say goodbye to some as well.  If you check out our pages on the side menu, you can see which are the operational dogs, what they do and our retired dogs.

The land down under!

We now have a Southern Section attached to our unit.  This provides a search dog capability in the southern region of Western Australia.  Although our metro based handlers can respond to searches all across Western Australia (we've received and responded to callouts in the Wheatbelt, Midwest Gascoyne, South West and Great Southern), the southern section allows area search dogs and a tracking dog to respond quickly to emergencies in this area.  

That's all folks

We will slowly be updating the blog to contain information on the types of dogs we train, what you can do to help us (even if you're not interesting in being a handler) and where you can find us at events.  For more information, contact us on the forms located on the side menu or message us through Facebook or Twitter. 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Canine Section Winter Training Camp 2015

What a busy but fun filled winter camp in Karrakup for the SES Canine Section. Among the weekend's exercises included night searches, first aider/responder (when locating a casualty on a search), map and navigation work, radio communications as well as games and bonding with fellow team members, both human and canine alike. The dogs loved searching through the bushland through wet conditions and even located a couple of local scout groups!
All in all a fantastic weekend. It was great for teams to consolidate learnt skills and techniques and also to engage in some social time.
Special thanks to Rosie & Cathryn for organising the venue, to Leonie for coordinating, to Stephanie for organising social games, to all 'bodies' for hiding, Matt for keeping us well fed and to all members who pitched in.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Two New Area Search Teams

Sunday 19th April saw the successful grading of Rosie & Atlas and Cathryn & Holly, becoming new operational area search teams. Both teams were successful with their assessment searches overseen by WA Police dog handler, George Bogunovich and Canine Section assessor/SME, Ian Spreckley. Both teams have put in many, many hours of training and have worked very hard to get to this point and should be proud of their new operational status.
A special thank you to George for being an assessor, to our DFES District Officer Kate Parkey for all your help and support, to Josh, Tegan and Katie and all 'bodies' who gave up their time to hide for the dogs today and all involved in the lead up to this assessment.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Congratulations to advanced handler Chris and Loki who were successful with their assessment this morning and have now become an operational scent-specific tracking team. Chris is also our first member to become a dual-handler, having both an area search dog, Piper and a scent-specific tracking dog, Loki.
Thank you to 'dogs bodies' Josh, Robert and Stephanie and to assessors Barry from the WA Police Dog Squad and our Subject Matter Expert, Ian. Thank you to our DFES District Officer Kate for your presence as well.
** STANDBY** Area search teams Chris & Piper and Steph & Karma are on standby for deployment to the Sandstone search tonight.

Monday, February 16, 2015

SESVA: Manhon to the Rescue


Successful search for disabled man

***CALL OUT Saturday 14th February 2015 ***

3 area search teams and 1 scent-specific tracking team assisted WAPOL and fellow SES teams with the search for a 61 yo intellectually disabled man in the High Wycombe area . 

***All teams have now been stood down after scent-specific tracking team Glenys and Manhon were SUCCESSFUL in locating the missing person***

A fantastic outcome for all involved. Well done teams!