If it hadn’t been for an alert passer-by, Georgie, an Australian shepherd, might never have been reunited with her owners after getting trapped in a storm drain.

Crews from the Falmouth Fire Department helped lower a worker from the wastewater district into a storm drain to rescue a dog on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Falmouth Fire Department

Falmouth Fire Chief Howard Rice Jr. said someone walking in the OceanView neighborhood heard the dog whimpering Wednesday morning and notified authorities.

When members of the Falmouth Fire and EMS Department arrived around 9:30 a.m. they encountered a crowd of people gathered around a catch basin at the corner of Marion Way and Whipple Farm Way.

Georgie’s owners told crews that their dog had gone missing the night before and had somehow become trapped in the underground stormwater drainage system.

Rice said firefighters could see the dog’s head about 6 feet below the surface of the drain.

OceanView’s maintenance staff believe the dog entered the water collection system through an open culvert a few hundred feet away. OceanView is a retirement community.

“She was pretty frightened when she was down in that hole,” Rice said.

A worker hands up Georgie the dog, who got herself stuck in a Falmouth storm drain on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Falmouth Fire Department

Rice contacted the Falmouth Wastewater Department, which in turn sent a crew to help remove the storm drain cover. Firefighters set up the department’s confined-space equipment, which they used to lower a wastewater department technician into the hole.

“The 11-year-old Australian shepherd was very timid but eventually was coaxed to come out of the pipe and into the arms of the rescuer,” Rice said in a written statement. “Once secured, the rescuer and wet dog were hauled out of the hole using the lift system and the tripod.”

Rice said rescuers put a leash on the dog and toweled off Georgie before returning her to her owners.

“They (her owners) were so ecstatic to see their dog,” Rice said. Georgie did not suffer any visible injuries.

Rice said that crews from the town’s fire and wastewater treatment departments have trained for four years on confined-space rescues, but Wednesday was the first time they had used their training and equipment for a rescue.

Georgie is finally lifted to safety. Photo courtesy of Falmouth Fire Department




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