'Amazing' therapy dog helps woman on motorway bridge

  • Published
Digby the therapy dog. Pic: Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue ServiceImage source, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption,
Digby has helped fire crews who have been exposed to trauma

A dog has been hailed as "amazing" after helping to save a woman thinking of taking her own life on a bridge over a motorway, firefighters have said.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the dog, Digby, was brought to the scene over the M5 in Devon on Tuesday.

The woman moved to a safe position when she was asked if she wanted to meet Digby.

Police said she was taken into the care of mental health professionals.

Situation 'increasingly worrying'

Devon and Cornwall Police said emergency services were called to the scene just before 11:00 BST following a report of concern for the welfare of a woman.

The fire service said it was at the incident "as part of a multi-agency response" before Digby, an Australian labradoodle, who began working with the fire service in 2018, was brought in.

It said: "Police negotiators were speaking with the woman but the situation was becoming increasingly worrying.

"One of the fire crews had the idea to bring along Digby... [who] helps crews who have been exposed to trauma during talking therapy 'diffusing' sessions.

Image caption,
Australian labradoodle Digby began working with the fire service in 2018

"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.

"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."

Police said the woman was brought back to safety soon after 15:00 BST and the road was reopened.

Firefighters said they wished the woman "all the best in her recovery".

Follow BBC News South West on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to spotlight@bbc.co.uk.

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.