LAFD Rescues "Lucky" Dog from Rain-Swollen L.A. River

Friday, January 30, 2015

A firefighter lowered from a hovering helicopter rescued a dog from the Los Angeles River during a sudden afternoon rain storm on Friday, January 30, 2015.

At 3:45 PM the LAFD had received a 911 call of a possible dog in the LA River, near the Barham overpass.  Simultaneously, a second 911 call confirmed we had a dog quickly floating downstream, struggling to keep its head above water. Firefighters swiftly responded from the ground and air to render aid. 
A rapid systematic search from the west to east ensued until the approximate 30lb Labrador mix was located, near the Forrest Lawn Cemetery. 
Due to the dog being in the center of the channel, out of reach from the crews on the embankment, it was deemed best to perform a hoist rescue. A firefighter was carefully lowered from a LAFD helicopter into approximately five foot deep water moving up to 20 mph. The firefighter then hoisted the shivering dog out of the cold water. During the hoist the rescuer and dog began to rapidly spin in circles, therefore they were carefully and briefly lowered back into the water to stop the spin, then safely raised and brought to the nearby concrete embankment where additional firefighters rendered immediate care. 
The dog was then taken to an animal shelter in Lincoln Heights for further assessment and treatment for a possible leg injury. 
The LAFD wishes to remind Angelenos that when rainstorms impact the Los Angeles area, the LA River can quickly fill with fast-moving water, creating a potentially life-threatening danger to people and animals who gets caught or swept away.
Thanks to all the firefighters involved and due to their bravery and continual training, this incident had a successful outcome.
Since firefighters didn't see a name tag, some of them affectionately they named the pup “Lucky”.
Dispatched Units:  E86 BC14 E60 H5 H3 



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