The pair of firefighters who teamed up members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) on Friday in a search for a run-away dog have shed more light on why they chose to spend the night in a blistering storm.
Donald Tupper and Brian Inkpen are the pair of fearless firefighters who, in the words of Oromocto Fire Chief Jody Price, went “above and beyond the call of duty.”
“It is a good news story and it’s nice that it had a happy ending,” said Price.
Inkpen, who has been a firefighter for a year and a half, says that this call has been unique.
“This is I’d say my most exciting call so far and it’s extremely fulfilling,” he said.
Tupper and Inkpen were part of the team that responded to a vehicle collision on the TransCanada Highway just outside Oromocto, N.B., on Friday.
Once they were on scene the crew found that the drivers were fine. However, the female driver reported that her dog, named Sherlock, had gotten out of the car and run away from the scene as a result of the crash.
“When we got on the scene it was already under control but we had heard that there was a dog that was missing,” said Inkpen.
“We all jumped in a truck and we went looking for dog prints.”
But they only found a clue when they looped back towards the scene of the accident a few minutes later.
At the side of the road, they saw dog prints leading through a fence. So they started tracking them.
The pair were able to trace the dog’s pawprints in the snow for over four kilometres before eventually losing the trail.
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Help is on the way
But help was on the way in the form of two members of CAF from the nearby CFB Gagetown.
They were able to pick up Sherlock’s tracks and continue the search until they located the pup – roughly five kilometres from the scene of the crash.
Sherlock had got his leash tangled around a post and the firefighters believe he would have likely died overnight if he hadn’t been rescued.
“He was a probably a little traumatized, it was a big experience for him, so once we got to him we calmed him down and he warmed up to us pretty quick.”
The pair say they were happy to bring the dog back to his owner, who was staying at a nearby hotel as they searched.
“I don’t know which one was more excited, Sherlock or the owner, but she was extremely happy,” says Inkpen.
Above and beyond
Tupper says that the call may have been out of the ordinary, but that the search was something he had no problem doing.
“I think at the Oromocto Fire Department we always go above and beyond. That’s what we’re supposed to do and we do and it wouldn’t matter if it was a dog or a cat or anything, we try to do the best,” he said.
But Tupper refuses to take all of the credit. saying there was no way that the rescue could’ve been done alone.
“Although we were the two walking through the woods, this was a total team effort from everybody in the department,” he said.
“There were people out giving us reference points and supporting it through the whole way, so it was definitely a group effort.”