With winter weather giving a definite chill to the air, Aspiring Avalanche Dogs founder Matt Gunn is encouraging people to pay attention to mountain safety.
His rescue team has created an alpine survival kit — ASK — that enabled people to get shelter including a four-person tent, sleeping bags and antihypothermia heat packs.
‘‘That is something we have developed ourselves.’’
As first responders, his teams were potentially vulnerable to changing weather conditions.
It was not always possible to move victims as soon as they were found, he said.
Once they had located a victim they needed to introduce a heat source.
‘‘We now know that simply introducing body heat to a hypothermic patient does nothing but make the rescuer cold.’’
Instead, his kit included ‘‘big torso heat pads.’’ and ‘‘jetboils’’ — a type of canister that could heat water very quickly — plus hot-water bottles and sleeping bags.
‘‘Everything you need to get somebody warm.’’
The rescue team would be helped in their work by the delivery of a new rescue truck.
Funding for the truck was helped by a $25,000 grant from the Central Lakes Trust as well as contributions from the Central Otago Motor Group. As well as being a ‘‘mobile kennel’’ for up to three rescue dogs, the truck was a ‘‘gear cache’’.
‘‘We carry quite a range of rescue equipment beyond what is dedicated to the rescue dogs themselves,’’ Mr Gunn said.