Gary Carroll and rescue dog Diesel in Chautara, Nepal
Gary Carroll and his dog Diesel from the UK's International Search and Rescue team go to work in Chautara, Sindhupalchok District – north east of Kathmandu, Nepal.
They are the first search and rescue team to reach the earthquake-hit district, searching for survivors and providing medical support on the scene.
The team works with specially trained dogs that are taught to track down human scent. When the dogs find someone alive under the rubble, their bark or body language lets their trainers know.
Each dog handler sticks with their own dogs – with whom they've built up a special trust. The dogs have to be quick-witted and love to chase toys, as that's how they are trained to do the job in times of emergency.
"On the ground we’ve seen total destruction in some of the outlying areas of Nepal - most buildings are affected in some way. I saw a lot of buildings that have collapsed, and people are obviously scared to be in the buildings. A lot of people are under tents or covers - they’re making the best use of anything they can find. We’ve also seen buildings partially collapsed and landslides.
Diesel and I were tasked to search two buildings - one of which was reported to have a 13 year old boy inside. Diesel worked well - he covered the whole area and did what he was trained to do. I was really chuffed for him.
I think Diesel has coped very well - he’s stayed very calm and relaxed. He was fine on the plane but a little stressed in the vehicle as we travelled out to a rural area as it was a confined space and quote hot. But we kept the window open and gave him lots of water.
But generally being in Nepal doesn’t seem to have fazed him - he’s just the same as at home. He got his fur clipped a few weeks ago during an exercise in France so he is ready to cope with the heat. It’s great fun working with a dog. It is very rewarding - you feel like you can see some real good. The dogs can help identify casualties which is an extra tool for the team.
This is Diesel’s first search and rescue deployment. It’s great getting him trained up to a point where he can deploy.
We’ve got a very close bond. We’ve been through this together - I’m looking out for him and I think he’s looking out for me. Working out here brings us closer together. He’s good company and he’s always there."
The specialist team is drawn from 15 different fire and rescue services from across the UK.
On 25 April, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the country, killing more than 5000 people, and injuring thousands more.
The UK is responding to Nepal's request for international help, sending search and rescue teams, emergency medics and logistical support.
Find out more at: www.gov.uk/nepal-earthquake-2015
Picture: Jessica Lea/DFID
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