When it rains, it paws for CFA Oscar1 Brigade

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A specialist CFA brigade has been called out to two incidents within a week, both involving the rescue of a dog from a mine shaft.


Bendigo-based Oscar1 Brigade helped rescue Bruno the Bull-Arab on Sunday 5 December after he’d fallen down a mine shaft at Castlemaine Diggins National Park.

Captain Daniel McMahon said it was quite unusual and surprising to receive another call less than six days later, this time to rescue Terry the Kelpie-cross from a mine shaft at Woodend. 

“The owner said they were camping and the dog just went for a run, but as it was night and you can’t see these mine shafts at the best of times, he just fell down the hole,” said Captain McMahon. 

“The Woodend team did a great job in securing the scene because one of the biggest risks at a job like this is the owners trying to communicate with their loved animal and ending up falling into the shaft as well.

“It was a 15-metre shaft but we thought it may have been a false floor, meaning there could have been another 10 or 20 metres below if the floor had collapsed.

“Terry was in surprisingly good nick though with no injuries, so we hooked him up to the ropes and Woodend brigade helped pull him up.

“The owner was ecstatic when they were reunited.”

Captain McMahon said it was great to have a good result from both incidents in Castlemaine Diggings National Park and Woodend.

“We hadn’t been called out to a rescue in quite a while, so to have two similar jobs in a week was quite surprising.

“Rescuing a dog in a mineshaft is a serious job, but for us it also doubles as real-world experience in case we are called to a community member in the same unfortunate situation.

“In both scenarios it’s a multi-agency effort, there’s crowd control required and there’s a very concerned person pushing us to rescue their loved one.”

Oscar1 Brigade trains for a variety of rescue situations including grain silos, tower rescues, and mines.


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Submitted by CFA Media