To become a handler you must be a member of one of the island’s emergency services that form the Isle of Man Inland Search & Rescue Group. (Police, Coastguard, Fire or Civil Defence) This allows SARDA IoM to focus on the search dog and search strategies as potential handlers already train in first aid, communications and navigation with their own groups. The inland search and rescue group is a member of the Mountain Rescue Council for England and Wales (MREW).
Potential handlers must have been a member of their service for a minimum of a year and demonstrate a high level of skill and experience in search and rescue work.
We also require a prospective handler to volunteer as a dogs body for a minimum of six months prior to taking on a dog. We currently have two qualified dog teams and one dog team in training.