Friday, January 22, 2010

Los Angeles Fire Department Heroes

The news hasn't been very good this week but it cheers me to know that there is still room in our hearts to make the saving of one dog national news. Thank you LAFD for rescuing this poor dog who had gotten himself trapped in the L.A. River. The heart stopping end of the rescue is on video here.


Heather Houlahan said...

Sorry, I gotta call "hotdogging" on this one.

First, no real reason to use the helo. Other than "It's cool." Helicopter operations, especially long-line ops as seen here, are insanely dangerous. This dog could have been accessed from the shore much more safely and effectively, and much more cheaply, without the extreme drama.

Second, boy, that guy sure got bit. First rule of rescue/first aid for animals is that you muzzle everybody. The lone firefighter -- who does not appear to be trained in animal handling -- probably could not have done that while tethered to the chopper if he'd tried. I can think of few things guaranteed to earn a bite or six from an already freaked-out dog than pouncing on him from a helicopter. Jesus.

Third, no harness for the dog. Truly it's a miracle that the footage was not of Puppy Go Splat.

My guess? The department has some new toys, maybe from some of that Homeland Security swag that's flying around, and the dog in the concrete ditch became a nifty opportunity to play with them.

YesBiscuit! said...

Oh well OK Debbie Downer. :-P
In fairness, the dog was in the middle of this raging river, just sort of frozen there and apparently howling on occasion. There didn't seem to be any way to get to him other than helicopter. When dangling guy showed up, the dog got scared and made for the cement wall. So see, they were already well into this rescue when the vid starts. Perhaps in hindsight, they would agree w/you that they could have gotten another team & climbed down the wall after the dog. And I'm pretty sure they'd agree that a muzzle and harness would have been good equipment to have. I got the impression this was a "by chance" type rescue.

Luisa said...

Was gonna post the L.A. Times story & vid on my blog with a title like, "Reason #5863 for socializing your dog."

I want "running/swimming towards the rescuers" to be my dog's default response, not "trying to escape from."

The helicopter was pretty standard. You'd be amazed [or not] how many young Darwin Award prospects have to be pulled from the L.A. River each winter. Inner tube + flood stage = epic fail.

Elizabeth said...

I think its a wonderful story. Yes its a shame the guy got bit quete a few times, but the dog was saved.
Hell if i didnt know what the heck was going on, and i was drowning, and this big yellow monster started to grab me I probably woulda bitten him too.

Heather Houlahan said...

I want "running/swimming towards the rescuers" to be my dog's default response, not "trying to escape from."

In a low-flying helicopter situation, Not Gonna Happen.

Seriously, those things are TERRIFYING.

Even if the dog was trained in helo ops -- the way SAR dogs in CA and tactical law enforcement dogs are -- you couldn't even try to call the animal to you, because he cannot hear you.

Dog already adrenalized and in survival mode -- it's just a monster coming to get him.

Which is why I am being such a killjoy about the decision to use the thing.

EmilyS said...

of course some people will always think they know better...