Emergency service’s ‘amazing’ therapy dog saves woman’s life

Digby the dog helps crews who have been exposed to trauma during talking therapy ‘diffusing’ sessions.
Digby the dog helps crews who have been exposed to trauma during talking therapy ‘diffusing’ sessions.

The 'defusing dog' helped save a young woman who was thinking of taking her own life on a bridge over the M5 near Exeter

Published

An emergency service’s therapy dog has helped to save the life of a young woman.

Digby, who works with crews from the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, came to the aid of the woman, who was thinking of taking her own life on a bridge over the M5 motorway near Exeter on Tuesday.

The fire service was on the scene as part of the response, but negotiators were becoming increasingly worried about the situation.

A spokesman said: “One of the fire crews had the idea to bring along Digby, our ‘defusing’ dog.”

Digby has previously helped in talking therapy sessions for emergency workers who have been exposed to trauma.

“When Digby arrived, the young woman immediately swung her head round to look and smiled. This got a conversation started about Digby and his role at the fire service,” said the spokesman.

“She was asked if she would like to come and meet Digby if she came back over the railings, which we are pleased to say she did.”

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said it wishes the woman all the best in her recovery.

Digby’s “amazing” actions won praise across social media.

One person said: “Well done Digby. Cockapoos can be very intuitive and gave the face and eyes that, in my opinion, show that they want to be friends to help to listen and to play.”

Another wrote: “Dogs are amazing, they can sometimes do what humans just aren’t able to. Well done to all concerned, hope the lady gets the help she needs.”

– Anyone in need of confidential emotional support can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or by emailing [email protected] or visiting Samaritans.org.