OPERATIONAL AVALANCHE TEAMS - WINTER 2024

Information for deploying an avalanche search dog:

Search dog mobilisation should be directed through the New Zealand Police, either local or by the 111 system – if however the dogs and handlers are deployed by other means, then the NZ Police should be notified as soon as possible thereafter.

Call outs should be made by dialing 111 and asking for the POLICE, give your location, the location of the incident, numbers presumed buried and any other relevant information you may be asked to provide, e.g. you may only require one or two dogs, or if the avalanche is larger, you will need dogs from a wider region. It is important that all relevant information is given as time is of the utmost importance when mobilising avalanche search dogs to save lives.

Please call 111 immediately for the first response THEN:
Search and Rescue Avalanche Dogs
National Coordinator – Karyn Robertson (027) 406 3 604
or if not available: Dan Kennedy (027) 432 0898

Name

Dog

Area

Contact phone

Phil Couch

Whaia

Ruapehu – Turoa

(027) 271 9308

Phil Couch

Frankie

Ruapehu – Turoa

(027) 271 9308

Toby O’Hara

Ralph
*currently injured

Ruapehu – Turoa

(027) 357 9556

Ethan Mikkelsen

Archie

Ruapehu – Turoa

(027) 716 6316

Lisa Jaggi

Echo

Ruapehu – Whakapapa

(027) 544 4258

Andy Hoyle

Echo

Ruapehu – Whakapapa

(027) 565 6022

Andrew Malcom *(Novice)

Boomer

Nelson Lakes - Rainbow

(021) 781 032

Brooke Kirkcaldy

Urban

Methven | Mt Hutt

(021) 216 1500

Rob Teasdale *(Novice)

Tui

Methven | Mt Hutt

(027) 230 3150

Dave McKinley

Stellar

Twizel | Mt Cook

(021) 220 5233

Callum Grant

Ziggy

Wanaka – Treble Cone

(022) 169 1522

Matt Gunn

Wizzid

Wanaka – Treble Cone

(021) 319 824

Brendan Kearns

Poppy

Wanaka – Treble Cone

(027) 695 6795

Brendan Kearns *(Novice)

Tussock

Wanaka – Treble Cone

(027) 695 6795

Cait Hall

Rosko

Wanaka – Cardrona

(022) 323 6240

Mike Lundin

Stellar

Wanaka – Cardrona

(021) 024 17538

Aimee Prendergast

Nala

Arrowtown – Cardrona

(027) 438 1835

Brad Saville

Bomber

Queenstown – The Remarkables

(027) 500 4371

Blair Watson
* currently injured

Rudi

Queenstown – The Remarkables

(027) 670 9879

Avalanche-Search-Dogs-Locations-NZ
* Novice qualification means the team should be called immediately to an avalanche WHILE an operational team is on the way.

It is essential to speed the arrival of search dogs at the accident site that air transport be a priority for the dogs and handlers. If at all possible a dog and handler team should be included in the first response party, if not, ASAP thereafter, it is important to notify the national coordinator to ensure correct deployment procedures are adhered to and consequent back up dogs are placed in a state of readiness if they should be required.

When dogs are to be used at an incident site it should be attempted to locate landing and equipment sites downwind from the areas to be searched, this will prevent unwanted odours drifting across the search areas.
Operational dogs are trained to search in pairs and amongst personnel already on the debris site, please be aware that if a dog handler should require that personnel leave the debris field or that equipment sites are to be shifted then the dog handler/s will inform the accident site commander or responsible person/s of this.

 

Dogs must be summoned early, dogs should be called while there is still a chance of finding the victim or victims alive – not after all else has failed!

When search dogs are deployed, ensure that further operational dogs and their handlers are put in a state of readiness in case further resources are required. Don’t forget, dogs can work equally well in the dark.

All operational handlers are fully equipped and have the relevant expertise and knowledge of the alpine environment. If the location of the avalanche is unable to be reached on foot this should also be explained to the national coordinator so as winching equipment can accompany the dog teams.

MEET THE TEAMS

Phil Couch and Whaia
Turoa

Ethan Mikklesen and Archie
Turoa

Toby O’Hara and Ralph
Turoa

Lisa Jaggi and Echo
Whakapapa

Phil Couch and Frankie
Turoa

Andy Hoyle and Echo
Whakapapa

Andrew Malcolm and Boomer
Rainbow

Brooke Kirkcaldy and Urban
Mt Hutt

Rob Teasdale and Tui
Mt Hutt

Dave McKinley and Stellar
Mt Cook

Cait Hall and Rosko
Cardrona

Mike Lundin and Stellar
Cardrona

Aimee Prendergast and Nala
Cardrona

Callum Grant and Ziggy
Treble Cone

Matt Gunn and Wizzid
Treble Cone

Brendan Kearns and Poppy | Tussock
Treble Cone

Brad Saville and Bomber
The Remarkables

Blair Watson and Rudi
The Remarkables