Specialist Mountain Rescue Search Dog assets within the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team

Regular readers will be aware we have two operational Mountain Rescue Dog Handlers within the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team membership.

Both represent specialisms within the NSARDA community, where air scenting search dogs are perhaps more widely known to the public at large.

Handler Dave Marsh is a Mountain Rescue DVSD (Drowned Victims Search Dog) Handler, with his DVSD Search Dog Sasha, and is a member of SARDA Ireland North, alongside his Bolton MRT membership.

Dave was formerly a SARDA England Mountain Rescue Air Scenting Dog Handler, with Chi his Search Dog at the time, who has since passed away after a very successful career during which a number of persons were found by Chi.

Dave (and Sasha) alongside his colleague from BTP Mike Dermody and Quincy, are the only DVSD assets currently operational in England and Wales.

Handler Steve Nelson is a Mountain Rescue Trailing Search Dog Handler, with his Trailing Search Dog Boris, and is a member of SARDA Wales, alongside his Bolton MRT membership. (Steve is regularly assisted by colleague Bolton MRT member Elaine Gilliland, who acts as navigator to Steve on operational calls, and is also a member of SARDA Wales)

Like Dave and Sasha, Mike and Quincy, Steve Nelson and Boris are also unique within England and Wales, being the only currently operational Mountain Rescue Trailing Search Dog asset.

Both Dave and Steve receive a large number of enquiries all the time for their unique specialist search dog capabilities and knowledge, with a great many resulting in standby periods, which are then frequently stood down as some of these incidents resolve themselves (as these are so many, we seldom report such on our website)

This year to date, and not including a large number of operational deployments within Bolton MRT / attended by the Bolton MRT, Dave and Sasha have deployed operationally ‘elsewhere’ five times, the furthest this year on the mainland being a search in the Dumfries area of Dumfries and Galloway, and over the water on a three day long search operation in Enniskillin, Northern Ireland.

Steve and Boris, very often in the company of Elaine, have deployed operationally ‘elsewhere’ from operations with Bolton MRT, fifteen times this year to date.

Within Bolton MRT, team call out list member Jess Ellsmore, after an intense and comprehensive (continuing) training period, with her dog Blitz, is now close to going forward for operational grading in the New Year as a Mountain Rescue Air Scenting Dog Handler with Blitz – for which all the team membership wish Jess and Blitz well.