A dog’s heroic friends
Two modest North Stormont firefighters have been credited with saving a dog that has since become the subject of widespread media coverage.
Ginger, a small terrier, gained attention when the pet was treated for smoke inhalation in the Alta Vista Animal Hospital’s hyperbaric chamber, one of the few such devices for animals in Canada. The animal was rescued when North Stormont firefighters responded to a fire at the Smrczek family home on Highway 138 in the Maxville-Warina Road area, on Easter Monday.
The family happened to be in Ottawa that day as mother Taylor had just given birth to a baby boy.
North Stormont Fire Chief Daniel Gauvin explained what was happening at the Smrczek residence April 2. “We were called to the scene sometime around 4 p.m. One son arrived by car and there were flames in the garage and the home was engulfed in smoke.” When a family member said there were pets inside, two firefighters, who want to remain anonymous, went in and came out with Ginger. Firefighters later retrieved another dog which had hidden somewhere, but a cat and a bird were lost.
Mr. Gauvin talked with paramedics about helping Ginger breathe oxygen, but neither the paramedics nor the fire department had a specialized kit for animals. The paramedics did, however, check the animal’s heart and other vital functions. A Smrczek son took Ginger with him to the Alta Vista Animal Hospital.
“I would say that our 15 or so firefighters spent three hours on the scene. I stayed longer and investigator Nancy-Ann Gauthier arrived later. I am very proud of my firefighters for pulling Ginger and the other dog out of there,” added Chief Gauvin.