Stephanie Tarrant from Mazon, Ill., desperately tried to rescue Bear, her 6-month-old puppy that was trapped underneath her patio deck. On Jan. 28, 2014, Tarrant and her son Jake tried coaxing the dog to come out of the snow filled area for well over an hour, but when their attempts failed and the dog stopped making sounds for over 20 minutes the pet owner called firefighters for help. Tarrant was afraid her young dog had frozen to death, but luckily for her and the pet, firefighters came to the rescue.
Tarrant called Mazon’s non-emergency number, and this reached the home of off-duty Mazon Fire Chief Mark Brookman.
“My daughter answered our house phone and someone on the other line asked if this was the non-emergency phone number for the Mazon Fire Department,” Brookman told Morris Daily Herald. “I explained through my daughter that we were probably going to have to damage her deck so she needed to call 911 for insurance purposes and we got ready to go.”
The woman explained that she had asked her son to call both dogs in from the yard, but only one of them came in. When Bear was nowhere to be seen, Tarrant and her son went outside looking for him. They found him underneath the back porch. Using a treat, Jake attempted to lure the puppy out of the deck but he was not successful. Forty minutes into the rescue attempt, the dog stopped making sounds and that that is when the owners became worried.
Five off-duty firefighters showed up at Tarrant’s home. They were on their way to a funeral, but when they heard the distress call, they detoured to the home and went to work.
“I’ve been here 13 years, and this is the first time I can remember being called out to save a dog,” Brookman said.
When hero rescuers arrived at the home they found that Jake had already shoveled a path and broken some wooded boards trying to reach the pet. Firefighters had to removed two boards from the deck to gain access to the puppy.
The young canine was lethargic and cold once rescued, but he was wrapped in a blanket and warmed up immediately. Bear made a full recovery and by the following day he was running around the house and playing as usual with all of Tarrant’s five children.
According to Mazon firefighters, people believe rescuing pets – especially cats off of trees – is something very common they do. On the contrary, this was the department’s first animal rescue and as animal lovers themselves, none of the off-duty firefighters wanted to miss on this opportunity.
Thanks to Assistant Chief Tom Sereno, Captain Mark Brookman II, firefighter Paul Page, firefighter Missy Pumphrey and Fire Chief Brookman, Bear is alive and well today.