Great Britain

Digby the ‘defusing’ dog saves life of suicidal woman on motorway bridge

A dog has been hailed as a hero for helping to save a woman who was considering taking her own life on a motorway bridge this week.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said that Digby, a “defusing” dog, helped to calm the situation on the bridge above the M5 near Exeter on Tuesday.

The dog, who works with crews for the fire service, came to the aid of the woman, who agreed to cooperate with emergency services after meeting the canine.

In a series of posts on Twitter, a spokesperson said that the fire service had arrived at the scene as part of a multi-agency response, where police negotiators were speaking to the woman and becoming “increasingly worried” by the situation.

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

The dog had previously been used to help in talking therapy sessions for emergency workers who had been exposed to trauma.

“When Digby arrived, the young woman immediately swung her head round to look and smiled,” the spokesperson added.

“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.”

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

Anyone in need of confidential emotional support can contact Samaritans free on 116 123 or by emailing or visiting

Additional reporting by PA

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