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  • West Rock Technical Rescue 8-26-17
    Updated On: Aug 239, 2017

    Release: # 17-012

    Date: August 27, 2017

    Contact: Gary Merwede, Deputy Fire Chief

    The Hamden Fire Department was dispatched at 10:59 yesterday morning to West Rock Ridge State Park to assist in a multi-agency rescue operation located on the western cliffs overlooking Woodbridge. Hamden Central Communications received a call for assistance from the Woodbridge Animal Control Officer (ACO) and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection that a dog was trapped on a ledge that was not safely accessible from below.

    The technical rescue box assignment from Hamden was sent to Baldwin Drive to set up a lowering operation, so a firefighter could access the trapped animal from the cliff above and provide assistance.

    Hamden Battalion Chief Richard Otlowski took Command of the operation (IC) from Baldwin Drive, and coordinated the efforts of the

    Woodbridge Fire Department (operating below the cliffs), the DEEP and Animal Control Officers.

    Firefighter Scott Blake (HFD) was lowered 60 feet to reach the trapped pit-bull mix. It took some time for the firefighter to gain the trust of the dog, who appeared to have minor injuries consistent with exposure and scrambling on unstable rocky ledges. Firefighter Blake was able to use ACO equipment lowered to him to take hold of the dog. Utilizing the rope system, both were lowered to members of the WFD, who took the dog and guided it to safety on the trail system leading out of the park.

    Hamden Firefighters used multiple anchors and haul systems to bring the firefighter back up the cliff.

    The entire rescue operation took approximately two hours. For information on the condition of the rescued dog, please contact the Woodbridge Animal Control Officer. At this time it is unknown exactly how the dog managed to work its way to the high and inhospitable location in the park, or who owns the animal. 

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