Dog News

Hailey is Rescued from Iowa Cliff by Volunteer Firefighters


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The Poland Family stops by the Decorah Firehouse to thank the volunteers for their heroic efforts in saving their dog, Hailey. (Photo by Sarah Strandberg)

In the small northern town of Decorah, Iowa, volunteer firefighters put their training to good use when they were called to rescue Hailey, a German shorthair/terrier mix, from a small outcropping on a cliff in Palisades Park. The Caitlynn and Trinity Poland, with their children Gavyn and Morgan, were on vacation when 4-year-old Hailey went chasing after some birds. “It looked like she was going for something on a branch. All I saw was her tail go over, and I thought she was a goner,” said Trinity Poland. Trinity stood on the edge of the cliff but he couldn’t see Hailey. After scooting down the cliff a bit, he was able to see Hailey cowering on a tiny limestone ledge.

Lee Bjerke, a volunteer with the Fire Department for many years, approached the family. 4-year-old Gavyn asked him, “Are you going to save my puppy?” “We’re going to try,” said Bjerke.

Fire Chief Mike Ashbacher said, “We don’t like to see anybody distressed … pets are part of the family, and we try and treat it that way.” Kurtis Johnson, along with Bjerke, had attended “high angle” training in St Louis back in 2010 and realized the time was now or never to put that training to use. Using a multi-purpose device of pulleys, rope-grab mechanisms, old fire hose to protect the rope from being cut by the sharp limestone, the two men, along with 8 other firefighters, were able to rescue Hailey and reunite her with her very grateful family.

Source: The Gazette