ESD Honors Medics for dog rescue

On Friday November 22, 2022, at 2:52pm, Galveston County ESD #2 EMS Crews Operations Supervisor, Frank DeMarco, along with Paramedic, Jean Rivera, and EMT, Mark Forey, were dispatched to a report of smoke coming out of a residence on Shady Lane in Crystal Beach. When they arrived at 2:56pm, they noticed heavy smoke coming out of the house. While assessing the situation to be able to report to the local volunteer fire department, they found a dog inside the house at the front door of the residence on the second-floor deck. They attempted to open the door but found it to be locked, they checked the surrounding windows and also found them to be locked.

As they were searching for a way into the house to rescue the dog and check for any other animals or people, they noticed the dog had collapsed. They could barely see the dog at this point due the heavy black smoke inside.

Frank and Jean made a determination at that point to do whatever it took to gain access into the house to rescue the dog. A nearby construction worker brought up a claw hammer and a very large pipe wrench. Jean frantically did everything he could to break the window in the door. The doors and windows are hurricane-proof so, needless to say, it was very difficult to break the glass. After repeated strikes, Jean finally broke a hole big enough to reach his hand in and open the door.

Frank and Jean then felt and reached inside the front door looking for the dog. They could no longer see anything due to how heavy and thick the smoke was. They found the legs of the dog, grabbed the legs, and brought the dog out of the house onto the deck.

At this point, EMT Mark Forey was bringing the medical supplies up the stairs. Frank DeMarco then began Incident command of the situation while Jean Rivera and Mark Forey began working on the dog.

Jean stated that when he first assessed the dog, he noticed that the dog was not breathing but had a very weak and faint heartbeat. At this point, he sent Mark down to the ambulance to get some additional medical equipment and Jean Rivera began very aggressive oxygenation administration in an attempt to get the dog breathing again.

Jean stated that he used a BVM (Bag Valve devise), the same devise used on humans when they stop breathing, and high flow oxygen, and worked hard to get a good seal around the dog’s nose and mouth to be able to ventilate the dog and provide the oxygen that was needed.

At this point, Mark arrived back upstairs with a backboard devise, they placed the dog on the devise and, with the help from bystanders, they carried the dog downstairs, all while Jean continued to ventilate the dog. Once downstairs and away from the house, Jean and Mark continued to work on the dog in an attempt to get the dog breathing again.

After some time, Jean noted that it appeared the dog started to take a breath, he continued the ventilation, and the dog started breathing more on his own. Jean said after a few minutes of continued ventilations, and now only assisting the dog with ventilations, the dog began to try to get up off the backboard devise. Jean said they continued to comfort the dog with love and caring to try to prevent the dog from getting up. Jean then switched his oxygenation of the dog from the Bag Valve Mask devise to a non-rebreather mask. The dog was now breathing very good on his own and he just needed some continued oxygen administration.

Jean said after a few more minutes, the dog was very adamant that he was going to get up, so they unbuckled the straps securing the dog, and the dog got up on his own. Jean said, at this point, the dog wanted nothing to do with the oxygen mask, so they removed the mask and continued to care for the dog with a lot of love and affection, which Jean said the dog was enjoying every minute.

Jean stated that he heard one of the owners of the dog was present at the scene. He said that it was a very special and precious moment when the dog and owner were reunited.

Jean and Frank later commented, “We knew the risk involved with making entry into the house at the point we did, but we were not going to stand around and do nothing, that’s why we made the decision to get in to rescue the dog.”

Sully with Jean, and owner Bobby

Frank, Jean, and Mark got the privilege to meet back up with the owners of the Sully and Sully himself. The reuniting was a very special moment for them, to see the happiness on the owner’s face and to see the Sully running around. A sight to behold!

For their heroics on that day, Jean and Mark were awarded a plaque that will be placed on the Galveston County ESD #2 EMS Wall of Recognition.

Frank DeMarco, Galveston County ESD #2 Operations Supervisor, commented:
Everyone on the Bolivar Peninsula, both residents and visitors, can rest assured that Galveston County ESD #2 EMS Division will do everything possible to ensure your health and safety while here on this Peninsula. We train and study hard on a continuous basis in an attempt to better our skills and our abilities for the residents and visitors of the Bolivar Peninsula. We have a very dedicated group of men and women that will do everything they possibly can to help, no matter what the situation is. We are very fortunate to have individuals with many diverse areas of background and certifications on top of their Paramedic or EMT certification. We have a great working relationship with the local Fire Departments, assisting when necessary. The local fire departments are all volunteer, and they do their very best with situations that occur. Most of the members have full-time jobs and make every effort to be available. EMS and the fire departments work hand in hand. EMS currently has 3 full-time staff ambulances and a supervisor on shift 24/7, days a year.

Frank DeMarco, also stated that visitors are welcome at the stations at any time during business hours. Our staff would love to sit down with you, enjoy a cup of coffee, a soda or a bottle of water and answer any questions that you may have. We will give tours of the ambulances, show off our equipment, explain how our protocols work, what we are allowed to do, or just sit and talk. We are here for you the residents and visitors.

Should you want to schedule a public relations event, please feel free to contact me, we will be more than happy to attend.

Frank DeMarco, Operations Supervisor

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3 Responses to “ESD Honors Medics for dog rescue”

  1. Jan says:

    Frank, Jean, and Mark,
    You are true heroes. Thank you for caring for our “best friends”.

  2. SuzyO says:

    Thank You Frank DeMarco and your entire team of heroes. All of you are our beloved treasures here on Bolivar. There are no words to express our gratitude. We sleep well knowing you are always here for us.

    May God Bless You And Yours..

    With All Our Heartfelt Thanks And Love,

    Suzy Odom

  3. Linda says:

    Thank you, brave people, for your heroic actions. This a real Christmas story containing love and care for all creatures. I salute you. You are gifts to our whole community.

    With gratitude,
    Marcel and Linda C Elissalde
    Emma Elissalde (dog)

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