Avalanche Rescue Dogs

Nederlands: lawine training – Rescue Dog & Handler – Wikipedia file photo -

My dog and I took the opportunity to enjoy a bit of downtime Sunday afternoon.

While flipping through the channels during the commercials of the Sunday NFL playoff games I hit the Weather Channel and saw a show called “Weatherproof – Trapped” One of the segments was showing some of the best “high tech” rescue equipment available for skiers.

The best was an inflatable balloon inside of a backpack that keeps the skier on top of the snow during the avalanche. With the arrival of ski patrol, it only took a minute or so to rescue the downed skier. Very Impressive!!!

Other options included two products that utilized a homing beacon and a radar patch that looked like one of those things that they put on store items to set off the theft warning alarm at the front of the store when you don’t pay for something. These two solutions took the ski patrol about 8-10 minutes to locate the fallen skier once they were on scene.

Then they brought in what they called a “low-tech” old school rescue tool. A search and rescue dog! The dog found the skier in under two minutes in eight-feet of packed snow.

Their final analysis was that all of the new products worked well, but were reliant on a speedy arrival by the ski patrol. My analysis was that if I was a skier, I would want one of the inflatable backpacks and the knowledge that my local ski patrol had several good rescue dogs on hand!

As a dog owner and dog lover for many years, I’ve known for a long time that there is no replacement for a well trained dog and handler!

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