Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Firefighter Whose Petrinja Rescue Dog Was Poisoned Given New Puppy

January 26, 2021 – Firefighter Srđan Botica from Slano near Dubrovnik was inconsolable after his hero Petrinja rescue dog Alice was poisoned a few days ago. Although irreplaceable, Srđan's friends could no longer stand by and watch him grieve undeservedly, so they bought a brand new Belgian Shepherd puppy to cheer him up

Srđan Botica was inconsolable after the death of his dog, Alice. Although she was still quite young, Alice and Srđan had built a strong bond between them. The training required for a dog like Alice to become a specialist search and rescue dog will have that kind of effect. The relationship Srđan established with Alice was strengthened both in his workplace, where Srđan is a firefighter and at home, which is where Srđan brought Alice each evening.

The final test of the pair's attachment was to be the rubble left in the aftermath of the Sisak Moslavina earthquake. Srđan volunteered to travel from Dubrovnik to help in the response. Alice became a Petrinja rescue dog, scouring the damaged and fallen buildings for survivors. The inseparable pair stayed for six days undertaking their work.

ScreenshotaliceandSrdan.pngSrdan and Alice at work after the earthquake

As TCN was saddened to report over recent days, the partnership of Srđan Botic and his Petrinja rescue dog Alice was tragically cut short within weeks of their return. Alice was poisoned on the streets of her home in Slano, near Dubrovnik.

Though Petrinja rescue dog Alice was one of a kind and can never be replaced, the friends of firefighter Srđan Botica could no longer sit by and watch his undeserved grief. Over the last couple of days they clubbed together and bought Srđan a new dog. Srđan's new housemate goes by the name of Amy and she's still just a puppy. Amy is a Belgian Shepherd, the exact same breed as Petrinja rescue dog Alice.

It is probably still too early to say whether Amy will follow in Alice's pawsteps to become a search and rescue dog. But, Belgian Shepherds are one of the best-known breeds for this kind of work. They are used as search and rescue dogs by firefighters and mountain rescue in many countries, and as police and military dogs. They have a good reputation as sniffer dogs, particularly in the field of finding illegal drugs. Several Belgian Shepherds have been decorated for bravery and they are very protective of their owners and handlers.

The US Secret Service, Israel Defence Forces, Indian NSG commando unit and Royal Australian Air Force use Belgian Shepherds in their work. The breed is second in number only to the German Shepherd for use across the whole of the US Armed Forces.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

VIDEO: Zrće Fire Sees Croatian Firemen Showcase Heroism Once Again

More than sixty Croatian firefighters and three canadairs were able to extinguish the shocking fire that went on for about one hour in the woods near Zrće beach in Novalja on the island of Pag.

As 24sata/Bogdan Blotnej/Denis Gascic, Bojana Mrvos Pavic/Antica Vulic writes on the 16th of July, 2019, the fire on Zrće beach had risen to double the height of the pine trees, and a strong bura quickly spread the flames to Zrće's popular Kalypso club. Croatian firefighters managed to successfully defend the club from being engulfed by the inferno at the very last minute.

The fire burned through a relatively untouched and unmanaged pine forest before breaking out and threatening Zrće beach and its numerous popular facilities.

''We managed to stop the fire when it was just 300 metres away from one club,'' said Hrvoje Ostović, the Lika-Senj County Fire Department's commander.

The problem was that there were about 10,000 people on Zrće beach at the time the fire broke out, who came to the Fresh Island Festival and to visit the Papaja and Kalypso nightclubs. The Croatian firefighters, helped by the police, had to evacuate them because of the strong bura that had changed the direction of the approaching flames. Even though they had started to tackle the fire, people's help was also sought through social networks. At approximately 02:30, an appeal was sent out from the Kalypso club.

''Kalypso is endangered by fire! Whoever can, please come and help to defend the club!'' read the post.

The fun quickly came to a halt and everyone had to run. Within ten minutes, people headed to the other beach and then to the buses heading away from Zrće. Firefighters literally attacked the fire from the very beach and prevented it from approaching the clubs at all.


At one point, the flames even reached the substation, but they managed to rescue the situation. Additional help from Zadar County and Zadar fire departments arrived, as did additional forces from Lika-Senj County.

''Even when the fire was being successfully tackled we noticed a large number of people who were in the woods,'' Ostović said. That is why policemen who helped went into the forest to evacuate them.

"You can only imagine what that looked like, it was at night, the bura was blowing, the fire was burning, and then we managed to evacuate the young people, first to the neighbouring beach, where there's no forest, and then, when the fire calmed down, at dawn when the Canadairs came, evacuation towards the town of Novalja began,'' said Novalja's mayor Ante Dabo.

He thanked the firefighters for their selfless sacrifice, as well as the people on the island as a whole, who showed complete solidarity. After nearly five hours of attempting to kill the fire during the night, with the arrival of dawn, the firefighters managed to regroup. Two canadairs arrived at dawn.

''Immediately upon arrival at the fire's location we saw how it had evolved from Zrće and had headed in the direction of Novalja. It burst through the road leading to Novalja and it's very good that we arrived at that moment because we stopped it right there. We continued to fight it and helped the firefighters keep it under control,'' said the captain of the canadair crew, Major Tomislav Slavica. Eventually, a third canadair arrived. Together, they released a total of 470 tons of water onto the flames.

''We're tired. We were out on the field for twelve hours without stopping. The forests in Dalmatia are greatly appreciated, and this is a huge pity,'' said Goran Podunavac from the Novalja fire department.

''We've been there since the morning. It's still smoldering everywhere, we're trying stop the fire from beginning again,' said four firefighters from the Pag fire department. 

Ivan Orlić, Toni Sabolić i Neno Buljanović arrived at the fire's location near Caska beach. They were aided by their colleague Željko Smojben from the Senj fire department.

''We went with our backpacks to the edges and manually started attacking the fire. We were putting the fire out for an hour, then resting for half an hour, then starting again from scratch,'' explained one of the firemen when detailing their method.

There was also deputy chief of police Željko Prša, who hadn't commented on the causes of the fire, saying only that it was caused by humans, either purposely or accidentally. He has denied any speculation of arrests having been made.

''I hope everyone is safe. Try not to breathe in the smoke. Cover your nose and mouth with your shirts and whatever you can,'' wrote the British rapper Luke Olanrewaju B Odunaike (21) on the night of the fire, better known under the name of Not3s.

He appeared only a few moments before the fire broke out, and of course the organisers stopped everything. The famous rapper Micheal Ray Stevenson (29), who is known to the public under the name Tyga, was also set to play on Zrće. His performance was postponed, and the "curse" of the Fresh Island festival continued. Chris Brown's performance was also stopped back in 2016 because of the bura.

''I've never seen a fire like that in my life, it was everywhere, it was terrible! I wasn't afraid until my friend said: 'Kim, it's going to burn us all,' then, I was more frightened than I've ever been in my life,'' said Kim Buneta (22), a girl from Rijeka who works at the Kalypso club on Zrće beach.

As we reported earlier, it turns out that the fire was caused by humans, but whether or not it was an accident is yet to be determined. The police continue to maintain that no arrests have been made.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Ministry of Agriculture Purchases 74 Fire Engines for Croatian Firefighters

While it hasn't officially begun yet according to the calendar, it really feels like summer has finally arrived on the Croatian shores after a spring of tumultuous weather and rather cool temperatures. The rays of the sun are growing stronger each day and we're now more stable in the mid twenties to early thirties on the thermometer. A far cry from a rain-filled May.

With the heat and the abundance of sunshine come a problem that Croatia, like many Mediterranean countries, is forced to deal with on an annual basis - wild fires. 

These fires have ravaged parts of Dalmatia over the last few summers, causing untold damage not only to the environment but to homes, buildings and cars. Some were caused naturally, and it appears that in the past, some have unfortunately been started on purpose. The reasons behind such destructive acts remain a mystery. 

Natural or otherwise, wild fires spread like... well, wild fire, and an extremely quick response from the authorities is necessary to prevent them from becoming out of control, which is something that can happen in a very short time, particularly in parched, dry Dalmatian forests.

As Morski writes on the 13th of June, 2019, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia and Agriculture Minister, Tomislav Tolušić, will go to the Public Fire Station in Novi Zagreb at 14:00, in the name of the delivery of 74 fire engines purchased by the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture within the scope of a specific firefighting program which took place back in 2018.

Based on the Agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Croatian Fire Department on the implementation of the activities of equipping and training Croatian fire brigades in 2018, the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture procured 74 new firefighting vehicles, 2,200 new sets of protective equipment, and funded the complete training of 6,000 new firefighters.

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