June 15, 2010

Emergency Responders Act to Save Animals



      On December 16, 2009, a black cat, rescued from the flames of a fire in Herminie (PA), was administered oxygen at the scene. During a January 8, 2010, barn fire in Bullskin Township (PA), a trapped pig that was rescued from the fire, received oxygen.

Could this cat need to be saved from...

     After Herminie firefighter Joseph Marincic rescued the cat, he delivered it to Jonathan Jobe, Sewickley Township Ambulance assistant chief EMS personnel. It was “frothing at the mouth, lying there lifeless, but still breathing,” according to Jobe.

     Emergency medical worker Barry Walters worked on the cat for about thirty minutes.

     “I cleaned it off and gave it oxygen. I just kept it wrapped it in a blanket and kept rinsing its mouth out. It responded to the oxygen,” he said, noting that the cat’s owners were “very appreciative….We told them if it has trouble breathing to take it to the vet.”

     Walters said that “Saving any life gives you a good feeling, I like helping people, animals, whatever.”

      Volunteer firefighter, John Stillwagon, who administered oxygen to the pig, would likely concur.


     It was truly a dark and stormy night, filled with rain and lightning. When I heard a loud crash, I raced to a window to determine where the lightning had struck. No damage could be spotted.

     The tenant in the apartment above said our family home, rented out to tenants, was on fire. I grabbed a raincoat and my camera before racing up the hill.

     Our family home was on top of the hill. Monte had built an apartment building at the bottom of the hill just before his job requirements meant we had to move out of the Slippery Rock Township community known as Hallston, PA.

     We were staying in a basement apartment of the apartment building.

     The house also had a basement apartment. Both the house and the apartment had tenants.

     The house tenants had contacted the fire department. As we reached the top of the hill, their trucks were just arriving. The storm was continuing to rage—driving rains, thunder, and lightning that lit up the night sky.

     The firemen asked if everyone was safe, and if there were any animals. The house tenant’s animals were safely outside.

...this dog?

As we began to tell the firemen that there were no animals in the apartments, the house tenants corrected us. The apartment tenant had moved out without telling us, and sublet the apartment. And yes, there was a small dog in the apartment.

     The apartment was filled with smoke, but shortly the fireman had rescued the dog. However, the dog, suffering from smoke inhalation, was taken to the ambulance, where a fireman began administering oxygen.

     As I raised my camera to take a picture, he waved his free hand and shook his head.

    “Don’t do it,” he said. “I could get in trouble for this.”

     I lowered the camera, and we talked for a few minutes about the dog, which soon revived. He would be OK.

     The fireman never explained why he would get into trouble. I had to return to the fire, to make certain that our tenants had shelter after this horrible evening.

     Whenever I read about emergency responders caring for an animal, I remember this dog, and the fireman who cared for it. Whatever happened to the dog? I never found out. I was quite distracted by other necessities. But I can trust that it was kept safe by the caring emergency responder.

     My ongoing experience with emergency responders confirms that they are individuals who care for both humans and animals.  I was proud when my daughter, Sandra, became a paramedic.

     Remember your emergency responders, who might someday risk their lives to save your life and the life of your loved ones. They might also risk their lives to save your pet.      





The Cat with the Calico Tail

The “Meow” Chorus: A cat symphony on a Greyhound Bus



June Celebrations: Part 1

1 Comment »

  1. nice 😉

    Comment by jordan-taylor — June 16, 2010 @ 11:27 am | Reply

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