ANGO IN THE DARK (Animal Rescue)
Ten year old Jack Russell ‘Tango‘ recently had very good reason to feel grateful for the perseverance of West Sussex firefighters when she entered a rabbit warren whilst out on a walk with her owner.
On the afternoon of the 14th April, crews from Station 14 Storrington were originally mobilised at around 15.30 hours to the Warren hill car park just off the A283. This was later corrected by Sub Officer Martin McKilligin to the Hillside to the rear of Rock Place Farm, Washington.
With the hillside being a labyrinth of rabbit holes it quickly became evident that specialist equipment would be required to locate Tango. Crews from Station 01 Worthing and Station 10 Horley were mobilised to the incident with both specialist equipment and (S.A.R.T) Search & Rescue Team trained personnel to assist in the rescue of Tango.
Over the next few hours crews worked ceaselessly with a combination of vibraphone, ‘snake-eye’ search camera and spadework to locate the animal.
With the light beginning to fade and with no definite indication of the location of Tango the decision was taken to make one last attempt before the search was called off.
Using the vibraphone Leading Firefighter St-John Stanley (Horley) and Firefighter Paul Watson (Worthing) identified an area of hillside from where a faint sound was emanating which just might be Tango.
As crews from Storrington began to excavate, Tango chose this particular moment to make some faint sounds to identify her location to her rescuers. Use of the ‘snake-eye’ camera confirmed her exact location and some ten minutes later Tango was rescued and presented to her extremely grateful owner. In total Tango had been underground for more than five hours.
Congratulations to all personnel involved in what was eventually, and to everyone’s great relief, a successful outcome. Particular thanks to LFf Stanley and Ff Watson for their technical skills and to Sub Officer McKilligin and the Storrington crew who worked so ceaselessly at digging one inspection hole after another.