GLASGOW, Va. – Bear and his owner, Barbara Debevoise, were playing in a Rockbridge County park near the Maury River when a normal evening took a scary turn.
“We saw him swimming way out in the river. And we lost him, and we went across the river and he was still swimming, and that’s when I called 911,” said Barbara.
The Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department responded.
Chief John Hill decided to call in the special operations team to perform a swift water rescue to save Bear.
“With recent rain, the water levels were still kind of high so the water currents were faster in that area as well. So, Bear found himself in a really bad spot,” said Chief Hill.
After about an hour, Bear was brought to shore unharmed and reunited with Barbara.
“One of the first responders grabbed a hold of him. That was the relief there. I mean just to see that he was going to be ok. They were so competent and so brave to go out there,” she said.
The Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department is specially trained in swift water rescues for humans and animals, so they can be prepared to help anyone.
“Animals are our pets. And some of them are families more than our actual families. We are all dog people, and animal people,” said Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Stump.
“To help someone rescue their pet, that means a lot to them. Because I know if I was in that situation, I would want someone to go out and get my dog,” he added.