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10th August 2014 RESCUE DOG NEVER OFF DUTY
A mountain rescue search dog who along with her handler is a member of Teesdale & Weardale Search & Mountain Rescue Team made a great find yesterday even though she was not searching for a casualty.
Tony High the handler said "Isla my 5 year old border collie had been with me and my family helping with the Team street collection in Barnard Castle on Saturday morning. After a couple of hours I took her for a walk along the river bank in the Demenes area of the town. At one point Isla disappeared into dense undergrowth and started to bark as she returned to me. The way she did this was an indication to me that she had made a find. I followed her over a fence and into the undergrowth to discover an elderly man lying in a ditch near the river."
Pete Bell Team leader said "When Tony and Isla found the elderly gentleman he immediately contacted the Team. We sent 2 team members and one of our advanced medics to the scene. The gentleman was very confused and had sustained a head and chest injuries. The advanced casualty carer monitored the gentleman while team members set up for a stretcher carry to a position accessible for a road ambulance and handed him over the NEAS ambulance crew. Tony, his partner and 2 children did a great job in looking after the man before we arrived. I have no doubt that had search dog Isla and Tony not found the gentleman away from the well trodden paths he would have been there for some considerable time, if not over-night, and he would have been in a much more serious condition than when he was found. We understand that the gentleman was beside the river picking up rubbish"
Tony and Isla completed a two year training and assessment programme organised by The Search & Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) in 2012.
In 2013 they spent 4 days in North Wales assisting police and other Mountain Rescue Teams in the search for the missing school girl April Jones.
The difference between mountain rescue search dogs and other search dogs is that mountain rescue dogs search for any human air scent where other dogs tend to track an individual's scent along the ground. In ideal conditions the dogs can pick up this scent up to 1/2km from the casualty.
Tony and Isla 003 - Tony and Isla soon after she qualified in 2012
Tony and Isla A - Tony and Isla
Teesdale & Weardale Search & Mountain Rescue Team are affiliated to Mountain Rescue England and Wales. We provide a Search and Rescue service throughout County Durham and beyond, primarily for the Police but also for the other emergency services. All Team members are volunteers and we rely on monies raised by ourselves as a registered charity to run the Team. Further details regarding our latest callouts and Team information can be found on our website www.twsmrt.org.uk
Notes For Editor Teesdale
& Weardale Search & Mountain Rescue Team are affiliated to the "Mountain
Rescue - England and Wales". We provide a Search and Rescue service throughout
County Durham and beyond primarily for the Police but also for the other emergency
services. All Team members are volunteers and we rely on monies raised by ourselves
as a registered charity to run the Team. Further details regarding our latest
callouts and Team information can be found on our website www.twsmrt.org.uk