#CraioveanCynology. National Canine Education Centre, a story about empathy, courage and loyalty
They train for years to serve society and, together with their people, with whom they make wonderful teams, they manage to draw, very often, the fine line between being and not being anymore. They are rescue dogs from the National Canine Training Centre (CNEC) in Craiova, top prize winners at international search and rescue championships, recognized worldwide, trained to jump into fire, debris, avalanches and water and to intervene in crisis situations to save lives.
Six of these wonderful dogs and their lifelong humans went to Turkey to participate in rescue missions following the devastating earthquakes that swept through the country. Leaving for the city of Hatay, they managed to save four precious lives, especially in the given situation, and went through emotional moments, through fear, but also through the immeasurable joy of faithfully doing the duty for which they are preparing constantly.
They are Flash, Kika, Oscar, Willow, Athos and Nera, who together with their soul mates, Liviu Ionescu, Mădălin Ion, Carmen Popescu, Adriana Grigore, Oana Marica, Cosmin Rădulescu, but also with the head of the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations Dolj, Bogdan Vlăduțoiu and Radu Marin, special operations coordinator, were welcomed back home with medals, hugs and caresses full of gratitude
The story of what CNEC is today was written at the beginning of the 80s, in Craiova, when the first canine rescue team was officially recognized in Romania, consisting of four German shepherds with four handlers, all from Craiova. Since then, our city has been increasingly associated with rescue dogs on a national and international level, with canine competitions and performance in this field. The entire history of CNEC can be read at the address below.
"I would have liked to save more human lives than we have, I would have liked to see many more people happy"
About the experience in Turkey, where the rescuers went at their own expense, being part of the 10% of NGO formations that participated in the action without any kind of state aid, the president of CNEC, Liviu Ionescu, said that it was extremely demanding, but gratifying when the team members saw that they were able to achieve their extremely difficult goal of saving lives in the tragic conditions in Turkey.
"CNEC had a very difficult mission, because every day we worked with several international formations, we had a very intense schedule: eight hours of searching a day, a few hours at night, we had to change the search areas according to the procedures and the requirements imposed on us by the Turkish gendarmerie. What is interesting is that I went through some moments that I would not want to see again, if something happens in Romania. Instead, the activity of the six dogs was very intense, they helped other formations search. If those who have been there say that they have nothing, it is clear that in a month or two, they must go to a psychologist. That only makes you reanalyse yourself, rediscover yourself; you have to see the dog's behaviour, post-event reactions. We need to take a period of mental relaxation, even an introspection - if we don't know how to do it, we need to learn - and what I can say is this: we went through what we went in Turkey, it would be good if the media would convey a message to the population and to the authorities, who helps us, how they help us, if we have the knowledge to protect the population in the context of a natural or technological catastrophe. I'm proud of all the dogs on the team. I wish we could have found more human lives than we did, I would have liked to see many more people happy. The fact that we were appreciated by the population, by everyone, for the effort we made, is a soul satisfaction. Morale is high", said Liviu Ionescu, president of CNEC.
Present, over the years of activity, at over 200 national and international search-rescue exercises and demonstrations, being called since 1996 to intervene in numerous real search-rescue situations in partnership with the authorities, those from CNEC had, once again, the difficult task of putting their own lives in danger to save other souls from the path of tragedy. And they, as always, were true to their creed: "From heart to heart".
We are more than sure that we speak for everyone when we say that every single one of us thanks them for existing and doing such a wonderful job for the entire community.
National Canine Education Centre, we bow down and we are proud of you!