ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – The Alexander City Fire Department helped rescue a German Shepherd in a house fire on Wednesday.
Around noon, firefighters responded to a house fire someone noticed while driving by on Jefferson Street. When emergency crews arrived, the firemen extinguished the fire, then entered the house to perform a search.
That’s when they found Adler.
The German Shepherd was removed by Deputy Chief Jamey Johnson and Lt. Tommy Allen. Todd Sassano immediately began taking life-saving measures and intubated Adler while Deputy Chief Craig Clark started the IV. Tim Jones and Dewayne Rathel began chest compressions.
The crew was able to transport Adler to Dadeville Animal Hospital where he received further treatment. When Adler was stable enough, he was transferred to Auburn University Veterinary Clinic. As of Thursday afternoon, he was under 24 hour care.
Adler is getting better, but he is not out of the woods yet.
Fire officials say the fire could have been caused by a shortage in a lamp. Chief Reese McAlister said they think the owners left for work around two hours before the fire started and no one was inside to call the fire department. Chief McAlister estimates the crew arrived on scene 30-45 minutes after the fire began. Everyone is thankful the homeowners, Brad and Shannon Mullins, are safe — they lost everything in their home.
Chief McAlister said even though most people do not realize it, the fire department has been trained in canine treatment. He learned how to treat canines as he trained to be a SWAT Medic. Paramedics now complete rotations at animal clinics to learn how to intubate and insert IVs for small animals such as cats and dogs.
“EMTs do not get enough practice on intubations in their training, so they go to the vets to get more practice. It’s the same criteria,” said McAlister. “We’ve been overwhelmed with support from this call, and it’s great for the community to come together during times like this. I’m very proud of this fire department and the direction we’re headed in the new year. All the credit goes to our guys. We give them the equipment, but they do the work.”