Story by Prince George’s County Fire/EMS
On Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, May 21st and 22nd, strong thunderstorms rolled through Prince George’s County, MD. Ellis, a thirteen-year-old German Shepherd, filled with anxiety, sought for shelter, as do many dogs during a storm. He normally roams the back yard of his owners house like any good guard dog does, but the rain was too much for him and sought shelter closer to the house.
Unfortunately, Ellis took a wrong step and fell into a crawl space opening that led under the house. It was too high for him to jump out of and barely enough room for him to stand. A neighbor came by to check on him this morning and found him trapped in the hole.
Using the County 311 system the neighbor was able to call and get assistance from the crew from Hyattsville Fire/EMS Station 801 and Battalion Chief 884. Firefighters ensured all appropriate safety measures were in place and commenced to rescue the dog. The Incident Commander, Battalion Chief Michael Linynsky, stated, “While the space was tight, the crew from station 801 was able to anchor one of the crew by his feet and reach down to try to grab Ellis.” Just out of the rescuers reach, they needed to coax Ellis a little closer. The crew grabbed a box of Milk-Bone biscuits that Battalion Chief 884 keeps in his buggy. Battalion Chief Linynsky likes to keep a box handy when he visits the firehouses so he can give them out to all the firehouse dogs.
They used the Milk-Bone biscuits to coax Ellis closer to their outstretched hands. When he got closer they were able to grab him and pull him up and out of the hole. The neighbor then took Ellis for a little walk to stretch out his tired legs from being in that hole all night. But the crew was able to snap a picture and give him a few more treats before he left for his walk.
Firefighters often will exert extra effort in these incidents where pets get themselves into precarious situations. Primarily because it is the compassionate thing to do but also because if firefighter don’t do it, using appropriate tools and safety measures, then a well-intentioned pet owner or neighbor may attempt the rescue themselves and create a larger rescue or civilian injury.
Job well done to the crew!!! The crew members included; Acting Battalion Chief Michael Linynsky, Fire Lieutenant Greg Mangum, Fire Technician William “Wild Bill” Serra, Fire Fighter Ryan Shipp, Probationary Firefighter Frederick Clarke and HVFD Volunteer Fire Fighters Henry Sullivan and Melvin Wright.