Mexican rescuers travel to Turkey with Frida t-shirts

The Mexican rescuers from the Secretary of the Navy (Semar) who will participate in relief efforts in Turkey, after the earthquakes that have left almost five thousand dead and thousands injured, They did it dressed in shirts on which the face of “Frida” appearsthe rescue dog who died in November 2022 and who during her life participated in locating 55 people, 12 alive and 43 without vital signs.

“Frida” became popular in 2017 after participating in the rescue work in collapsed buildings caused by the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shook the country in September of that year.

The national coordinator of Civil Protection, Laura Velazquez Alzua, shared on his account Twitter a photograph in which the shirt that reminds the rescue dog appears, an emblem of the country and which has received numerous tributes before and after his departure.

There is even a statue in his memory, which is located in the Semar facilities, was designed by the sculptor Victor Hugo and carved in bronze, in which he can be seen wearing his goggles, vest and rescue boots.

Who was “Frida”?

Frida was a honey-colored labrador retriever, who was born on April 12, 2009, in the Canine Unit of the Secretary of the Navy.

From her first days of birth, the puppy started her trainingduring which his trainers observed ideal qualities to carry out functions within the ranks of the Mexican Navy.

He created a strong social bond with the canine handlers under his charge, at a few months of age, carrying out a game-based socialization in different settings.

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qualities of independence, concentration, even temperament, fearlessness, curiosity, easy habituation to different environments, a lot of willingness to play, ease of learning, empathy towards people and ease of social coexistence.

In addition, due to the specific characteristics of its breed, such as great physical resistance, fine ears to distinguish orders between shouts and noises, and a high olfactory capacity, it was determined that it would be a good specimen to be trained in the zootechnical function of Search and Rescue.

Search and rescue training for a canine lasts approximately 12 months; However, Frida from the beginning showed very outstanding skills, which led her to complete her training program in a record time of eight months, Said preparation was based on the game, with positive reinforcements such as words of encouragement, caresses and payment with their toy; the above in order to develop and strengthen their physical, emotional and concentration state, mainly in adverse environments.

Frida, was assigned to search and rescue work in collapsed structures. Together with his brigade companions, they were trained in aspects of obedience, skills on an agility track, ascent and vertical descent by means of rappelling, which allowed him to successfully carry out the rescue mission in events that occurred in Mexico and other parts of the world.

The skills gained during his training were put to the test for the first time in 2010, with his participation in international brigades to support the civilian population in Haiti, after an earthquake that left extensive damage on that island.

In 2013, he participated in support groups for locating civilian personnel trapped under rubble and collapsed structures, due to an explosion that occurred in the Pemex Tower.

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In 2017, he joined the international relief brigades and search and rescue of people trapped under rubble, in Ecuador, in which a landslide occurred, causing a population to be buried.

His last operational participations as a rescue dog were in the state of Oaxaca and another in Mexico City during the earthquakes of 2017, managing to find 55 people throughout his career (12 people alive and 43 lifeless).

For his career he received a tribute, still alive and after his retirement from active service. He was under the care of personnel assigned to the Canine Control Subgroup, belonging to the General Staff of the Navy.

During the ceremony, the life of the labrador canine was narrated; A video was also projected with her trajectory, after which a sculpture was unveiled within the facilities of the Secretary of the Navy.

Following the footprint left by “Frida”, the rescue dogs “Balam”, “Orly”, “Rex”, “July”, “Timba” and “Ecko” will participate in the rescue tasks after the earthquakes registered on Monday in Turkey and Syria.

Dogs are part of the team Mexican Red Cross of Puebla and Querétaroas well as the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) and the Ministry of the Navy (Semar).

This Monday, the Red Cross of Puebla announced that its dogs “July” and “Rex” will accompany four rescuers from the group “Urban Search and Rescue” (USAR), which were convened as part of the National Support Group.

This way, Anneth López, Daniel Hernández, Miguel Ángel Martínez, Alberto Peña and the dogs travel as part of the relief team that Mexico sends to the areas affected by the earthquakes.

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The Foreign Secretary, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, shared on his account Twitter two videos in which you can see the rescuer from Puebla Anneth Villafaña and “July”, 8 years old, as well as Ángel Daniel Hernández and “Rex”.

On the other hand, it is known that “Balam” and “Orly” are members of the Red Cross in Querétaro and they are dogs with extensive experience in rescue work, in which they have participated for several years.

In addition, the chancellor released images of the rescue dogs “Ecko” and “Timba”, which are part of the Secretary of the Navy (Semar) and the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena), respectively.

Photos: Twitter (@m_ebrard)

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