BY CAROLYN MURRAY AND JAN-MICHAEL PUGH
From the moment he was pulled from a pile of rubble by North Charleston Fire Captain Paul Bryant, “Rocky” knew he was in good hands. Photo: Tian Griffith
THEY SAY THEY NEVER KNOW
what they will encounter at the scene of an emergency. But after pulling a trapped puppy to safety, a North Charleston firefighter is being recognized as an Everyday Hero for saving a puppy's life not once but twice.
THE CALL COMES IN
North Charleston Fire Captain Paul Bryant says his engine received a 911 call for an animal in distress at Sumner Avenue and Remount Roads. He said once at the scene he could hear the puppy crying for help, because somehow the puppy found himself stuck under rocks.
Captain Bryant said a family was on the scene when firefighters arrived. They had tried unsuccessfully to coax the puppy from under the rocks and rubble.
The team of firefighters was determined to pull the puppy from under the debris. Captain Bryant said he got low on the ground and coaxed the puppy as he stretched as far as he could into the rubble. He said he figured the story would have a good ending when he felt the puppy licking him!
"Well the dog was licking my fingers from the beginning and then I made contact with him, and he was licking me, and so I knew he was friendly, and he was kind of telling me ‘thank you for taking me out of this hole!’"
THE STORY CONTINUES
But that is not the end of this hero's tale. Captain Bryant took the puppy to the Charleston Animal Society to see if the puppy was microchipped or would be claimed by an owner. It was not.
“It turned out he didn’t have an owner, and we decided to come back and adopt him,” Bryant says.
The new member to the family would soon be given a name reminiscent of his uncertain beginning. "My daughter actually named him. She said you need to call him ‘Rocky,’" Bryant says.
ALL IN A DAY’S WORK
North Charleston Police Chief Greg Bulanow says it is all in a day’s work for First Responders.
"This is what they do every day. I am kind of used to it because I see the great things they do for every member of the community, for human beings and for animals as well," Bulanow said.
Tian Griffith is the engineer who caught the rescue on his cell phone... a video that would go viral and appear on major networks like ABC, CNN, NBC and more.
"I just knew we were going to see something special," said Griffith about why he decided to videotape the rescue.
They all agree this was an extraordinary day’s work – and Bryant says he couldn’t have done it without his team.
"From the dispatchers that received the call, to the police department that was there, to the engineer that brought me there, to the firefighter that assisted me in taking everything out... I know the spotlight is on me but one person does not do it alone.” Bryant said.
You can see the article’s author Carolyn Murray weeknights on Count on 2 News. She is also a Board Member of Charleston Animal Society.
Want to read more about Rocky? Click here!