BSARD Who We Are

Berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs (BSARD) is a volunteer Lowland Rescue search dog team on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist Search and Rescue teams, the Police and other Emergency Services. Our primary role is to assist in locating lost or missing vulnerable people within Berkshire and its surrounding areas. BSARD was formed in 2002, and became a registered charity (No. 1102479) in the UK in March 2004. We are dependent on sponsorship and donations to exist and carry out our work.

The team is made up entirely of volunteers who (together with their dogs) undergo constant training and must meet rigorous standards in order to obtain operational status. Most of our dog handlers and support personnel dedicate their spare time to the search and rescue team on top of working full-time jobs.

Berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs is currently the largest Lowland Rescue dog team in England, with 26 operational members, and 34 dogs (11 dogs that are qualified and operational, and another 23 dogs in training). Whilst the majority of our dogs are working breeds, all types of dog are considered on their merits and must pass an initial evaluation before being accepted into the team for training.

Being a specialist dog team, we are often called out to provide support to neighbouring counties as well as working closely with Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue (BLSAR) who provide search control services and specialist foot search teams.

We are a member team of Lowland Rescue, who are responsible for coordinating Lowland Search teams as well as setting the standards to which we must comply. We are also official partners with Thames Valley Police with whom we work closely.

Presentations

We would love to come and speak to your group about who we are and what we do, and regularly present to cubs, scouts, rainbows etc. We can cater for all age groups, so please CONTACT US if you’d like to arrange for us to come and give a talk. We can even demonstrate how our dogs work if there is a suitable space at, or near, your meeting venue.

Meet the Committee

Jon Bromley

Chairman

L2 Dog Handler

JBProfile

I joined the team in January 2007, when it had just 10 members. Fairly quickly I became involved in the running of the team and took on the role of Equipment Officer. I was also the teams first Vice-Chairman assisting the Chair in the day-to-day running of the team. I qualified my first Search Dog Ahsoka in December 2016, but she unfortunately succumbed to cancer a year later, My new dog Vesper, qualified as a L2 dog in June 2019. I became Chair of BSARD in November 2015 and was invited to become Director of Dogs for Lowland Rescue in September 2017.

Richard Mansfield

Vice Chairman

L3 Dog Handler

RichProfile

I joined the team in 2009 and became a full member in 2010 with my first dog Sassy. We became a fully qualified Level 2 air-scenting search team around 18 months later. Sassy then went on to become a Level 3 dog and remained operational for nearly 8 years. Since retirement Sassy has been doing some water search and helping train some dog handlers from other agencies. I now work my other Border Collie Merlin who is also a Level 3 air-scenting dog. In my time on the team I have been a Committee Member, Press Officer, Events Manager and the Vice Chairman. I am also a Lowland Rescue National Assessor who ensures dog teams all over the country meet the national standards to become fully operational.

Ro Facer

Secretary

L3 Dog Handler

Ro

Ro has been a member of Lowland Rescue for the past 11 years originally joining BSARD in 2009. Yellow Labrador “Otto” is her second qualified search dog. As an area air scenting search dog he has a reputation of covering the ground quickly and effectively. Going out on a search together is a great demonstration of the close working relationship that needs to develop between handler and dog. “Enjoying what you do at the same time as offering something valuable to the community makes it all worthwhile.”

Paul Pink

Treasurer

L2 Dog Handler

PaulPProfile

I joined the team in February 2016 and became a Level 2 dog handler with my dog Gem in October 2018. I have also qualified as a Lowland Rescue First Responder (LRFR). For my day job I work as an IT Engineer for the John Lewis Partnership.

Sally Mowbray

Membership Secretary

Search Technician

Sally

I joined BSARD in 2011 and qualified my previous Springer, Poppy, at L2 in December 2013. Sadly her budding SAR career was cut short as she died from cancer in May 2014, having attended 5 callouts. I’ve worked as an administrator in every job I’ve had, so it seemed natural to join the Committee and help out with the organisation of the Team. Now I’m training Aster – also a Springer Spaniel, but with a totally different mindset and she’s a great challenge! I enjoy my SAR activities and attend as many events as possible, to spread the word about what we do.

Jann

Training Officer

L3 Dog Handler

Profile

After many years of experience working dogs, I joined BSARD in the autumn of 2013. I am a Lowland Rescue First Responder (LRFR) and have a qualified Level 3 air-scenting dog.

Paul Westwell

Equipment Officer

Search Technician

PaulWProfile

I joined Lowland Rescue in 2010 shortly after the arrival of two Cocker Spaniels, Jasper and Ozzy. During this time I became involved with several teams as well as representing Lowland Rescue at a national level as their Head of Radio Communications, and as a trustee. Jasper qualified as an operational search dog in 2012 until his retirement last year at the age of 10. During my time working with Jasper I also became a National K9 Assessor and now enjoy assessing other dogs, and their handlers, to determine if they have reached the required standard to become operational themselves. I moved over to BSARD in 2016 and joined the committee in 2018.

Sara Harwood

Press Officer

L3 Dog Handler

SaraProfile

I joined BSARD in 2016 with my Springer Spaniel Blaze. We qualified as a Level 2 air-scenting team in March 2018, and then went on to qualify at Level 3 in December 2019. I also qualified as a Lowland Rescue First Responder (LRFR) in September 2019.