Pat Shingleton: "Avalanches-Going to the Dogs"
Last Sunday's avalanche deaths in Colorado validate that February is the deadliest month for avalanches with Colorado leading the nation in fatalities. The famous St. Bernard's are the original rescue dog and golden retrievers are now choppered into the Colorado wilderness for rescue efforts. As noted in a previous column, these dogs and trainers are members of the elite Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment Team. Their mission is to respond to avalanche victims with the use of highly trained dogs, medics and ski mounted avalanche technicians. A buried victim has only 15 minutes for survival as chances 50 percent per minute. Dogs are the single most important element for rescuers. Statistics note one dog is worth a hundred human rescuers.