Industrious fire crews succeeded in lifting a 12-year-old golden retriever to safety after the dog fell into an abandoned well, getting himself trapped for four hours.
On Aug. 24, firefighters from two different sites in Aloha, Oregon, teamed up to respond to a call about a senior dog in distress. Crews from Station 62 of the Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue (TVFR) and a technical rescue team from Station 51 used a tripod and rope pulley system to lower a rescuer into the well.
Calvin, the exhausted pup that had been treading water for hours, was hoisted up from the bottom of the 30-foot-deep well and reunited with his owners, Dickson and Sheryl Patton.
“Firefighters from our technical rescue team receive specialized training in multiple disciplines, including confined space rescue,” TVFR posted on Facebook, sharing photos of the incredible effort.
Patton said he was mowing the lawn when he realized the family’s senior pup was missing. He and his wife were on the verge of giving up after a two-hour search when their two other dogs began to make a fuss around the garden shed.
“When [Calvin] heard them, he started barking from the well, and as soon as I heard that, I knew what had happened,” Patton told Fox 12. “I started ripping up the rotted plywood and called the fire department.”
Patton suspects that Calvin had been chasing a squirrel when he fell through the plywood into the over-100-year-old well below.
Tim Nokes, a spokesperson for TVFR, told the media that incidents like this don’t happen very often.
“It was a good training opportunity for our technical rescue team,” said Nokes, as quoted by People. “We can simulate technical rescues similar to that, but it’s not very often where we actually have a 30-foot-deep well we get to send someone down inside.”
Calvin was carefully checked out by a vet, and treated for hypothermia. The golden retriever was then sent home to recover with his grateful family.
“Way to go!” a proud parent of one of the firefighters from the technical rescue team commented on Facebook. “Calvin was in good hands with all the firefighters responding to his needs. Happy for a great outcome for this sweet, gentle soul.”