Borut Modic – Unit of Rescue Dog Handlers Ljubljana (EVRPL) President
After four years, the IRO World Championship for Rescue Dogs is returning to Slovenia. We are very proud of that since it is the third world championship organised by a Slovenian association for rescue dogs.
The Unit of Rescue Dog Handlers Ljubljana is a relatively young association, a member of the IRO since 2017, yet its members – dog handlers – have been actively present in the IRO for more than 10 years. We are honoured to have been awarded such an important and demanding task, and we are going to do all to make the 24th IRO World Championship for Rescue Dogs a successful and satisfying event for all participants, both competitors and organisers.
We are aware that a great challenge is ahead of us. This is why we are even happier to have on our side the full support of our partners, the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief and the City of Ljubljana, and also our sister rescue dog associations and organisations, as well as other voluntary organisations working in civil protection and disaster management, for example the Slovenian Scouts Association. Without all of them, it would have been impossible to organise an event like this one.
Let me also use this opportunity to greet all the sponsors who have perceived the value of our work and offered us help. We wish to express our sincere thanks to them.
We look forward to meeting you in Ljubljana!
Markus Bock – President of the International Search and Rescue Dog Organisation (IRO)
Dear Search and Rescue dog sportsmen and friends of this sport,
in my foreword I would like to attune you to this year’s 24th IRO World Championship for Rescue Dogs. It is a special World Championship, taking place in the 25th year of the International Rescue Dog Organisation’s existence. This World Championship is an opportunity to present a part of the IRO’s and her members‘ tasks to a broader audience.
This broad perception was one of our reasons to change the qualification mode for the World Championship. We especially wanted to present a high performance level at a World Championship. As president in charge I am certainly fully aware that changes generate positive, but also negative echo, but I may assure you that only the desire for an allocation system based on quality and performance led us to take this step.
This step also needed to be taken in order to account for the fact that the IRO is rapidly growing and further developing. From its founding years on, it grew from a small association into an globally acting organisation, and it is to be ensured that this worldwide activity is also accommodated in the sportive area.
An IRO World Championship has also become a true major event, and it requires great commitment and responsibility of an association to host such a World Championship. By this means, I would like to express my gratitude to all persons in charge, their numerous helpers and also their families for providing their time and expertise to us. In times when voluntary work for others is on the decline, their commitment for the World Championship is of particular importance.
I may also in advance thank all participants of the World Championship. Without them, their countless trainings and test hours, without the time invested in their dogs‘ training, there would not be a World Championship and – I want to emphasize this – less mission ready search and rescue dog teams on an international level.
In this context I may quote Ambassador Manuel BESSLER, Chairman of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group, who said in his message for the IRO‘s 25th anniversary:
“In the past 25 years of major earthquake disasters, IRO dog teams have worked alongside INSARAG teams with only one goal: Strengthening the effectiveness and coordination of urban search and rescue in order to save lives! Hence, IRO completely fulfills the mandate which INSARAG stands for since 1991.”
One part of strengthening the efficiency and coordination of search and rescue missions with the mandate to save lives is supported with executing sportive events. They offer the opportunity to measure quality based on strictly defined criteria and further strengthen it.
A joyful, exciting and fair World Championship for Rescue Dogs – this is what I wish for us and you, esteemed search and rescue dog handlers and everyone who accompanies this sport. I am certain that the WCH days will fly, and that comradeship and communal sense of a group of people who have committed themselves to saving the lives of fellow men, will intensify.
My best regards
President of the IRO Executive Board