Diesel gets a special international award

Diesel and handler Gary Carroll at work
Diesel and handler Gary Carroll at work

An Aberdeenshire search and rescue dog has been honoured with a special award.

Ten-year-old springer spaniel Diesel, along with handler Gary Carroll, from Torphins, works with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

Diesel searches a damaged building

Diesel searches a damaged building

Diesel will receive a special accolade from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at the House of Lords next week.

He is one of a small and select team of UK dogs whose specialist skills are used by the UK International Search and Rescue Team (ISAR), which assists overseas after earthquakes and other natural disasters.

In 2015, Diesel was deployed to search for survivors of the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

His primary role with SFRS is urban search and rescue, which involves searching for survivors when buildings collapse, such as after gas explosions.

A secondary role is to look for vulnerable missing people, often children or elderly people, as well as searching for survivors of traffic accidents who sometimes wander off due to shock or other injuries.

Diesel and Gary, 49, also regularly attend events to meet the public and inform them about the many aspects of SFRS work, as well as educating people of all ages on fire safety.

Gary, a crew commander with SFRS and an ISAR dog handler, said: “I feel very grateful and honoured that Diesel has received this IFAW award, which we accept on behalf of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and all the International Search and Rescue dogs and their handlers who all do fantastic work.

“I feel this award should be for all of them.”