The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 22, 2010

ConsCom asked to allow canine search-and-rescue training

Lynn Moraghan, a lieutenant with the Ashland Fire Department, came before the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) with her Australian Shepherd, Dublyn, on October 14 to discuss use of Carlisle conservation lands for search and rescue training.

Moraghan explained that she is part of the Massachusetts Canine Response Team (MCRT), a volunteer search and rescue organization based in Bedford. Dogs and handlers certified by the State Police help requesting official agencies find missing persons and crime victims. She is with a group of ten people who train together with their dogs in the local area several times each week. Generally four to six members attend a given session. A volunteer serves as the lost or missing person.

Moraghan said they have been training in parts of Carlisle for some time, including residential areas and the State Park. They always notify the Carlisle Police when they are going to be here. The group would like to extend their training to Carlisle’s conservation areas. These are prime places where people may get lost and it would be beneficial for the trainers and dogs to become more familiar with them.

The ConsCom acknowledged the importance of this work and expressed considerable enthusiasm for the project. Members indicated the need to determine which lands might be most appropriate for training and whether there are sensitive areas that should be avoided. They also want to clarify the Town of Carlisle’s liability and evaluate whether a land-use permit is even necessary. A follow-up meeting will be scheduled. ∆

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