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SARDA chooses Páramo gear for its safety and comfort on UK hills & mountains

UK Search and Rescue Dog Associations (SARDA) are teams of volunteers across the country dedicated to saving lives. They provide canine assistance to those lost and missing in the outdoors and support other rescue teams, such as the Police and Mountain Rescue, in the search for missing walkers, mountain bike riders, children and vulnerable adults and, sometimes, major incidents. SARDA volunteers are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and are a charity supported entirely by public donations.

“It is dusk on a cold weekend evening. Snow lies on the wet ground and more is falling. A SARDA search dog and handler, accompanied by a navigator from the local Mountain Rescue team, are out searching for a father and son lost on the hills. Mobile phone signal is patchy and the ground is difficult, cut up and with hidden pools of cold water. Nevertheless, the search dog and her handler press on – they have an urgent rescue to complete before night falls.

 Under these conditions you need to be able to trust your kit. You know it’s going to be tough staying warm and dry, and cannot be worrying about whether your clothing is up to the task. This is where Páramo comes into its own: it is the kit of choice for our SARDA handlers as it is tough, hard-wearing and you know it’s going to give you the protection you need.” 
Kate Gilliver, SARDA South Wales

Páramo waterproofs are made from unique Nikwax® Analogy® fabric, which mimics the action of animal fur to protect SARDA members from rain, condensation and perspiration whilst protecting their insulation. Rigorously tested in the Leeds University Rain Room to resist at least 4 hours of heavy rain, a Páramo Analogy jacket keeps rescue volunteers safer, drier and warmer.

Andy Colau is a veteran SARDA Search and Rescue handler with over 37 years’ experience under his belt. As a member of the Cave Rescue Organisation since 1976 and never without a trusty sidekick, Belle, by his side (Andy has partnered with over five Search Dogs) the duo respond to Cave and Mountain rescues within a 900 square mile area of the Yorkshire Dales.

How long has Belle been a SARDA volunteer and how long did it take you to train her to locate lost or injured people?
Belle has been working as a fully trained Search and Rescue Dog for SARDA for a year and a half, and it took her three years to complete her extensive training.

Does Belle enjoy working for SARDA and, if so, how can you tell?
Belle loves being a Search and Rescue dog and gets very excited when I put on her working coat; she knows we’re off on an adventure and can’t wait to get going!

How often do you get out each month with Belle?
With SARDA we get out between six and eight times a month. Most of these, however, are training sessions to keep Belle on her toes.

What wouldn’t you leave home without when on a call-out?
My best mate Belle, my rucksack, walking boots and my Páramo jacket that Belle quite fancies for herself- maybe one day they’ll make a doggy version to keep her dry too!

What three things should outdoor enthusiasts take with them on a mountain walk to stay safe?
Group shelter is essential, should the weather take a turn for the worst, and I’d definitely recommend a Kisu emergency storm shelter. Also a map and a compass (it helps if you know how to use them!) plus a first aid kit, food and a torch.

Would you recommend volunteering for SARDA and, if so, how can others get involved?
SARDA is without doubt the best and most important organisation that I have ever worked for. SARDA Search Dog Handlers, although unpaid, act professionally, are trained to the highest standards and are all very experienced Mountain Rescue personnel ready to assist anyone in danger.

3 thoughts on “SARDA chooses Páramo gear for its safety and comfort on UK hills & mountains

  1. I have used my Paramo jacket for 12 years now while acting as a casualty for SARDA. I reproof it regularly and it is still in good condition. Hopefully Santa will be good to me!

  2. Great pics and write up. Paramo clothing is a must for all activities, terrains of outside life

  3. I am the wife of Andy Colau who dedicates his life to Rescue. He relies on his equipment and it needs to be trustworthy in the terrible weather conditions. He has always praised Paramo and promotes it to everyone else.
    It is important for all of the team members to have decent gear and maybe one day the search dogs will be sponsored in the same way.
    Regards Jenny Colau

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