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 22 operational members, and 28 dogs (11 dogs that are qualified and operational, and the rest either in training or awaiting requalification). 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

Graeme Rumbol

Chairman

L3 Dog Handler

Graeme Rumbol Profile

Graeme originally joined the team in 2008 and qualified his first L3 air scenting dog Murphy, an English Springer Spaniel, in 2011. His current dog, Tim, a Sprocker Spaniel, qualified as an L3 dog in April 2021. He joined the Committee as Chairman in May 2021.

Paul Westwell

Treasurer

Search Technician

Paul originally joined the Team in November 2016. He qualified his Cocker Spaniel Jasper to L3 Airscenting and also trained Jasper’s brother Ozzy in Groundscenting. An intermission during which he spent time with the Bucks Dogs team was followed by his return to Berkshire.

Ro Facer

Secretary

L2 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.”

Tony Rainbow

Vice Chairman

L2 Dog Handler

Tony joined the team in June 2016 and became a Level 3 dog handler with Bruce in December 2019, recently achieving requalification for another 2 years.

Sally Mowbray

Membership Secretary

Search Technician

Sally

Sally joined BSARD in 2011 and qualified her 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. Sally has worked as an administrator in every job she’s had, so it seemed natural to join the Committee and help out with the organisation of the Team. Now she’s training Aster – also a Springer Spaniel, but with a totally different mindset and she’s a great challenge! She attends as many events and presentations as possible, to spread the word about what we do.

Jann

Human Training Officer

L3 Dog Handler

Profile

After many years of experience working dogs, Jann joined BSARD in the autumn of 2013. She is a Lowland Rescue First Responder (LRFR) and has a qualified Level 3 air-scenting dog and another one in training for Trailing.

Lou Holmes

Press Officer

Level 3 Dog Handler

Lou is one of the founder members of the team. She has had four qualified level three dogs and is currently training Hush as part of the Dreamfund project for ground-scenting dogs.  He is a four year old border collie and absolutely loves his search and rescue training and work.

Andy Willis

Equipment Officer

Level 2 Dog Handler

Andy started volunteering with the team in 2019 and became a full member in 2021. He recently qualified his first search dog. Willow is a 3 year old Wire Haired Vizsla who has been training since a puppy. Unfortunately she tore a ligament and had to have surgery last year, but after a long rest she is now fully mended and back to her energetic self.

Sara Harwood

Dog Training Officer

Search Technician

Sara joined BSARD in the spring of 2016 and previously had a qualified Level 3 air-scenting dog. Now she has her second one in training. She has previously been the Secretary and Press Officer, and is a Lowland Rescue First Responder.