‘He had a great time’: Firefighters rescue dog stuck in steel beam in unusual call near Nanaimo

CHEK

A wayward dog that managed to get stuck south of Nanaimo is fortunate to be safe at home thanks to a tracking device on its collar and helpful firefighters.

The dog, Tanker, embarked on an unexpected, off-leash adventure Thursday morning and found himself inextricably stuck in an unique piece of equipment.

It happened when Maureen Ward let her two Labrador Retrievers out to do their business and they decided to run.

Fortunately, their owner has a GPS tracker on both and was able to follow their movements, which soon stopped for Tanker, so she drove the couple of kilometres to retrieve them.

Ward says her one dog led her to three-year-old Tanker.s

“I could hear him barking but I couldn’t tell where he was. I was over at the bins over there and then realized that he was in here and there was no way to get him to go forward or go back.,” she told CHEK News.

It’s presumed Tanker was chasing one of the areas many bunnies that had a doggone escape plan.

With no ability to get Tanker out Ward called the fire department before eight o’clock this morning.

When firefighters arrived, they realized Tanker was really stuck.

“It was stuck in this ibeam. We tried at first poking to see if he would shuffle backwards with a stick and then crawled in there and tried to grab him from the rear legs ,but I couldn’t quite get to him because of a hydraulic cylinder in there,” said Tyler Yarocki, a firefighter with Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department.

It just so happens volunteer firefighter Yarocki has trade skills. With equipment nearby and permission, he went to work.

“Being a welder, I started cutting it apart and we got an access hole, pulled him out by the legs and it was happy for everyone,” said Yarocki, a journeyman welder and mechanic.

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Firefighters try to retrieve Tanker from a section of the ibeam that they welded open.

Tanker was inside a piece of equipment that was custom-built and only used to replace the deck on the Lions Gate Bridge between Vancouver and North Vancouver in 2000 and 2001.

“Back then I don’t know how much it cost, but if it were to be built today it’s probably a $60,000 piece of equipment that they cut a hole in,” said Cashjen Cramer, with Nickel Brothers, the company that owns the equipment and property.

“But seeing as we can reweld and the dog (was stuck) and all the feel good parts of this, it needed to be cut,” said Cramer.

Ward says she’s very grateful to Nickel Brothers and the firefighters.

“I was worried about Tanker. They had to use the acetylene torch to cut it and stuff but they put big fans and everything and looked after his health and he is no worse for wear,” she said. “He’s climbing all over the place thinking he had a great time.”

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Tanker is seen roaming free.

All in all it took firefighters more than two hours to navigate this Tanker back on course.

Yarocki, a firefighter for nine years, says it was an unusual call.

“It was a first for me. Our deputy chief said the same. We haven’t had to cut through a steel beam to rescue a dog before,” he said.

Less than a month ago, Port Alberni firefighters rescued a cat that ended up wedged between two buildings.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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