He was driving down the road on a cold winter’s day when something unusual caught his eye. Some people might have kept on driving but he knew he couldn’t do that.
So he put in a call to the people he worked with to ask for assistance. He had come across a black dog stranded in the middle of an ice-covered creek. The firefighter knew from experience the way to get the dog to safety was with more than one person involved.
Tulsa Fire Department’s (TDF) Rescue Task Force responded to his request for help, but they weren’t alone. Some might think it was overkill to have multiple firefighters, animal control, and medical help all on-scene, but there was a good reason why.
TDF’s Captain Justin Flake explained to News On 6, “Any time there’s an ice rescue, there’s a danger, so we take the proper precautions no matter if the ice is one-inch thick or 12-inches thick.
“We’re going to take those proper precautions and be aware of those hazards and dangers before me make that rescue.”
Wearing protective suits in case they went into the icy water, two rescue team members climbed aboard their “rapid deployment craft” that Flake explained is “a small boat” that they “can utilize on ice rescues like this.”
The inflatable craft allowed the two rescuers to carefully kneel and then in a synchronized rhythm, use the shifting movement of their body weight forward and back to slowly slide the boat across the ice and toward the frightened, waiting dog.
The canine was quick to check out the front entry of the boat when it got close, but backed off. Then after cautiously getting close to the side, the dog was pulled up into the craft by the front firefighter and tucked safely into his arms.
Back on shore, multiple rescue workers began pulling on an attached rope in order to slide the boat, rescuers, and dog back to land.
Once they were safely back on steady ground, they had to get the dog off the boat.
Normally, an animal control pole with a loop at the end, sometimes known as a KetchAll, would be used to keep the animal under control.
But because the dog had been so friendly and cooperative, that restraint device was quickly switched out for a simple leash.
The dog was unloaded from the boat and quickly began sniffing around the ground while rescuers petted and attempted to warm up the pooch with body rubs. The friendly mutt made their job easier, according to Flake, because it had not acted at any time with aggression to their efforts to rescue it.
The dog appeared to be in good health and was wearing a collar. Animal control took the dog in order to make sure it got thoroughly warmed up and attempt to locate the owner.
While some people commenting on the story jokingly razzed the rescue team for using “any excuse to play with the boat,” most were just grateful for such rescuers who would so willingly put their lives on the line, even for an animal.
Flake told News On 6 that their job is in fact, that — to save every life, whether human or animal.
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