Pit Bull Thrown Off a Bridge Becomes Rescuers’ Firehouse Dog

Over 40 years ago, Joseph Parkin, a firefighter in Paterson, N.J., rescued two dogs trapped below a bridge in Great Falls National Park, 80 feet above the Passaic River.

Earlier this month Fire Capt. Scott Parkin, with the same city’s Rescue Company 2, followed in his dad’s heroic footsteps. He rescued a pit bull stranded on a rocky ledge just a few feet above the raging river.

According to the North Jersey Record, people “occasionally throw dogs over the bridge,” and that may be what happened to the pit bull, who was spotted by a couple who called the police.

It was no easy rescue. With the help of several fellow firefighters, Parkin had to rappel nearly 80 feet down, coax the scared dog into a large net, and then help him be hoisted back up to the bridge. While it would have been safer to rescue the dog by boat, that wasn’t possible, because a recent rainstorm made the river’s current extremely strong.

Fortunately, Parkin is a 25-year veteran with Rescue Company 2 and happens to have dogs of his own. He knew just what to do to save the pit bull’s life.

When Parkin was lowered to the ledge, the dog became skittish and moved closer to the edge. Parkin told the North Jersey Record he was initially concerned that the dog might jump but figured he was intelligent enough to know that once he was in the water, there was no getting out.

Parkin was eventually able to lure the pit bull over to him. He said he was surprised when the dog cooperatively walked into the net.

“I think dogs are a lot smarter than we give them credit for,” he told the North Jersey Record. “They know when we’re here to help and he knew it. He knew he was in trouble. I think he realized, this is it, I can’t go any further, so let me try this idea, and he came to me.”

The rescue effort was captured on video. As you can see, the situation looked very dangerous, yet Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott downplayed it. “Any life is worth saving,” he told the North Jersey Record. “But this rescue was not as much of a risk as you might think because we’re always training for this.”

Despite his ordeal, the pit bull – who is being called Paterson — had no serious injuries. He was immediately taken in by the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge. Unsurprisingly, he had no microchip or ID tag, and his owner has not come forward to claim him.

Coincidentally, Rescue Company 2 hasn’t had a firehouse dog in about 16 years, but it does now. That’s right: these hero firefighters who saved Paterson’s life plan to officially adopt him and make him their mascot.

“We’re hoping he takes to us, he’ll be able to adapt to the firehouse life,” Parkin told the North Jersey Record a few days after the rescue. “The firehouse life isn’t the easiest, particularly for a dog. We get to go home and he’s here all the time with four tours of different guys with different personalities. Hopefully, he’ll be able to adapt to us.”

Considering what he likely went through with his previous owner, life at the firehouse should be a vast improvement for Paterson, who’s about a year and a half old. Here’s hoping this lucky dog adjusts well and enjoys many happy years with his rescuers.

Related at Care2

Photo credit: Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge/YouTube

143 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

thank you for sharing.

SEND
Maria P
Martha Pabout a month ago

tyfs

SEND
Beryl Ludwig
Beryl L1 months ago

Great story thank you for sharing.

SEND
Peggy B
Peggy B1 months ago

Wonderful

SEND
Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

SEND
Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

SEND
John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
Michael F
Michael Friedmann2 months ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

SEND