National Emergency Medal

In 2009, two SARDA search teams were deployed following Black Saturday bush fires to render assistance in locating remains in the aftermath.

For this work they (Handlers and their Canines) received the National Emergency Medal, the first canine search teams in Australia to do so.


SARDA’s inception in 1994 training Human Remains Detection in the first instance followed by Landsar for suitable teams. 

SARDA teams were deployed by Victoria Police Missing Persons/Homicide for mainly Cold Cases from 1994 until 1999.  These case included successful finds along with indications for areas of interest.

Between 2004 – 2012  when SARDA teams were originally Internationally accredited by National SARDA UK in Landsar, Victoria Police deployed SARDA teams for various deployments involving lost persons. 

Given the fact that SARDA’s Landsar dogs were accredited as bacteria scent discriminating dogs, the deployment to Black Saturday Fires in 2009 resulted in quite a number of positive finds.

 From 2012 to current day, SARDA teams have been deployed in many cases involving lost persons, namely the disappearance of William Callahan at Mt. Disappointment in 2018 where SARDA dog Obi was significant in his locating and alerting to the missing boy who came out from his hiding place making his way to the alerting dog.  Such a successful outcome. 

Over the past 6 years SARDA teams have been deployed by Victoria Emergency to 7 lost person deployments and pursuing a number of Cold Cases with SARDA’s Cadaver Teams.

All SARDA teams are Independently Assessed, Landsar teams every 2 years by International Assessors plus Cadaver teams by Australian Internationally accredited assessors.

“Dogs With Jobs” Channel 31 Melbourne

Join Sarah Jones as she continues her journey to meet some of the legendary working dogs across Australia. This week we find ourselves at Crib Point at a secret training location where some top dogs are trained in search and rescue operations.

Sarah gets to meet the team behind Search & Rescue Dogs Australia (otherwise known as SARDA) as well as meeting some of their four-legged heroes.