Firefighters Honored for Heroic River Rescue

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river rescueFor going above and beyond the call of duty, a group of courageous firemen have been honored after saving a dog stranded in the deadly currents of a rushing river.

An animal rights group is honoring the Manchester, New Hampshire Fire Department for its heroic rescue of a Golden Retriever that nearly drowned when it fell into the Merrimack river last week.

Steve Soba was walking his 6-year-old dog, Sam, off-leash in Arms Park in Manchester. Sam ran to the water’s edge and was pulled in by deadly currents created by spring runoff. Trapped between high walls on either side of the river, Sam was unable to escape, and quickly became exhausted.

In a dramatic rescue mission, firefighter Joel Monroe rappelled down the wall, made his way to Sam, and plucked the exhausted animal from the water. A rescue boat took him safely back to shore as onlookers watched with apprehension. None were more apprehensive than Sam’s owner, who expressed tremendous gratitude after witnessing Sam being saved.

“I’m so happy to have him back,” he said, struggling to hold back tears. “Thank goodness for Manchester Fire Department, they are awesome. I know they say they are just doing their job, but they saved two lives tonight…the dog’s and mine.”

For showing tremendous bravery in the face of danger, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is honoring the department with its Compassionate Action Award, and donating oxygen masks specially designed for dogs, cats and other pets.