Desire to work in humanitarian purposes with the help of the dogs led us back in 1997 to establish the Rescue dog association Maribor (Društvo za reševalne pse Maribor, in short REPS Maribor).

The activity itself – search, rescue and help – led us to look for someone in the official spheres: MO SZR Maribor (Maribor community – protection and rescue department). We are under their wing ever since – there, in Rescuers home centre in Pekre,  we have our base and our training facilities.

Cooperation brought us in a wider circle of people, who in their voluntary unions work for the same goal – to help when needed. Humanitarian acts combine us all. REPS Maribor is a wide open association, we are gathering and cooperate in many ways with other affinity associations and unions inland and on international basis (Slovakia, Chech republic, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Poland etc). On the local area of our community we share our experiences, our knowledge in combined drills and trials with fire brigade, mountain rescue service, scouts, divers…

Our main activity is education of the dog handlers for search in the ruins, on the area and in snow avalanches.

There are not so few of us well qualified for the work with the rescue dogs. Adequate qualifications we first got under the supervision of KZS (Kinologic Slovenian Association), later on we joined the ZVRPS (Slovenian Rescue Dog Handlers Association) and we are member of IRO (International rescue dog organization), since 2010. We accomplished numerous contacts with some rescue organizations such as Alpe-Adria, BAG and others.

Beside the qualifications to work with the rescue dogs our members and dog handlers have also conquered some theoretical knowledge of, in many cases, needed knowing: Dangerousness in the Mountains, Theories of Ruins, Veterinarian first aid, First aid to the victim, Theories of Orientation (on Map or/and in the Area), Rope techniques, Radio communications, APRS techniques etc.

The basic readiness of a team (dog & dog handler) requires the best possible bonds between the two of them, total confidence in one another. The dog should overcome some obstacles by itself, without any help of it’s owner (ladder climbing, walk over rocking perch, crawl through a dark and twisted tunnel…). That exercises require total obedience and guidable dog without any physical contact (no guide rope). The dog’s natural advances like better hearing and a keen scent we only direct to wanted activities, when training one to search for a missing person.

All sorts of rescue equipment goes along with this kind of work. We are well equipped for the several kinds of rescuing, for radio communications and GPS positioning, we have a special trailer for transport of four dogs…


Emil Urbancl, president REPS

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