A group of North Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighters rescued a Golden Retriever named "Watson" that got stuck after tumbling halfway down a 45-foot cliff along the shores of Gamble Bay on Tuesday.
NKF&R says a contractor saw the dog fall and contacted his client who then called for help.
Battalion Chief Ken LeMay investigated to see if crews would be able to assist because often firefighters are not able to participate in animal rescues because the operations pose too great a risk to firefighters and/or threaten crews’ ability to respond quickly to higher priority incidents.
In this case, the chief determined that the rescue could be accomplished quickly and safely.
When firefighters reached the frightened but uninjured pup with a safety line, they found that he did not want to leave the relative security of the ledge.
They called for a strong and flexible sheet that’s typically used to move larger patients during medical incidents, and secured Watson. A firefighter placed the 120 pound bundle between his body and the ladder, slowly sliding the dog downward as he descended.
NKF&R says once they unpackaged Watson on the beach, firefighters got a “thank you” in the form of an invitation to play: the 10 year-old pup immediately picked up a stick and threw it at their feet.
NKF&R says Watson’s human family, initially not on scene, had arrived by this time and expressed their gratitude more clearly.
“We were glad we could help,” LeMay said, noting that his crews got the opportunity to engage in creative problem solving that left them better prepared for the next event.
“Unfortunately, we can’t always do what we did here today. But when we can, it helps us stay sharp for rescues with even higher stakes.”