At just 10 months old Diesel, a yellow Labrador is in training with owner Jemma Dodds, at the K9 Unit of Essex Search and Rescue. Once trained he will become part of the voluntary team that searches for vunerable people who go missing in the county.
Of the county’s 1.5 million residents, thousands of people go missing each year. Majority are found. But sometimes Essex Policecall upon the services of Essex Search and Rescue to assist in the search for vulnerable missing people, like children or people with dementia. The charity is run entirely by trained volunteers and funded by grants and voluntary donations.
Jemma states, “It didn’t take long for Diesel to learn what the game was and now he does everything. Ten months old and he’ll go out, find someone, alert me to that person and take me back to them, which is the whole process.”
Essex Search and Rescue, which is affiliated to Lowland Rescue, a national body, was called out 80 times last year. This year, that figure is already nearing 60. Due to the team’s efforts, lives have been saved.
“It was very cold back in January this year and the team found a gentleman who was very hypothermic, who had been missing for a couple of days and I think it would be fair to say that that person definitely wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the team’s efforts,”said Search Manager Matt Cloke.
Essex Search and Rescue can be supported in many ways. Through donations, volunteering or by directly buying something from their wish list (on Amazon). Alternatively, anyone with a few hours to spare could help out the K9 Unit with training and be a ‘missing person’ for the Search Dogs to find.
We here at Southend Airport BusinessPark are in awe of such moving stories right on the doorstep of our unparalleled development, and love hearing about all the inspirational happenings going on in the local community.