DEVON and Somerset Fire Service rescue dog Mickey has been on exercise in Wales with his handler Paul West, from the service.

The team worked alongside London Fire & Rescue Service’s Urban Search and Rescue team.

The two-day mine rescue exercise in Dinas in the Rhondda involved a simulation of a collapsed three-storey building with an unknown number of casualties inside either trapped or missing.

Paul said: “I worked alongside another dog handler from Greater Manchester Fire Service. Mickey is trained to detect ‘live scents’ and he can go into areas the team cannot easily reach to locate casualties.

“Mickey found several casualties, who London’s Urban Search and Rescue teams were able to rescue. This involved its teams shoring the collapsed building to make it safer to work in, breaking through concrete and other building materials before getting a Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) paramedic in to treat the casualty who was then packaged for safe removal from the building.”

Mickey is a three-and-a-half-year-old springer spaniel and part of Station 60 at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service headquarters in Clyst St George.

Mickey can quickly find a lost person, cover vast areas in a relatively short time and access areas that would be too dangerous for rescuers to enter.