LAWRENCE COUNTY OFFICIAL HAS TO BE RESCUED FROM NARROW ROADSIDE CLIFF BY TWO JOHNSON COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENTS AFTER BOTCHED ATTEMPT TO SAVE STRANDED DOG
EMERGENCY OFFICIALS POINT FINGER OF BLAME AT LAWRENCE COUNTY EMERGENCY DIRECTOR FOR HAMPERING THEIR PLANS TO SAVE DOG ON CALL
MARCH 14, 2023 – written by WADE QUEEN
DOG GONE EMBARRASSING: PAINTSVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT, ALONG WITH W.R. CASTLE FIRE & RESCUE DEPARTMENT, HAD TO RESCUE LAWRENCE COUNTY EMERGENCY DIRECTOR TRAVIS HUGHES, WHO GOT STRANDED ON A ROADSIDE CLIFF ALONG U.S. 23 ON THE JOHNSON COUNTY SIDE OF THE JOHNSON/LAWRENCE COUNTY LINE; APPARENTLY TRYING TO RESCUE A TRAPPED DOG, THAT JOHNSON COUNTY EMERGENCY OFFICIALS SAY THEY WERE ASSEMBLING A TEAM FOR THE RESCUE OF THE DOG AFTER THEY WERE ORIGINALLY CALLED AND NOTIFIED FIRST ABOUT THE SITUATION.
What started out as a preparation to save a four legged critter by emergency officials in a neighboring county, only to find out that they needed additional help, after finding out that they needed to also save a two-legged person as well.
The man, later identified as Lawrence County EMS director Travis Hughes, who had taken the dangerous move to try to rescue the dog himself, only to end leaving with a red face, saw his rescuers pointing the blame for derailing their attempt to rescue the canine on him. The incident could have led to very serious injuries, or worse a fatal outcome for both man and beast.
Firefighters and a ladder truck from Paintsville Fire Department arrived on the scene along U.S.23 in Johnson County to a report of a dog stuck on a cliff. However, first responders had to rescue the Lawrence County Emergency Management director Travis Hughes, who had gotten stuck on the cliff trying to help the dog.
Once Lawrence County Emergency Management Travis Hughes was safe, a couple of rope rescuers tried to rappel down to the dog. After the second attempt, the dog slid down the cliff uninjured but was still not captured.
Johnson County rescue squad personnel firmly reiterated that if you ask for help, that it’s important to wait for rescuers.
Here is the official statement on Monday from the W. R. Castle about the incident.
“…Today we responded to an animal rescue on US 23, where a dog was stranded on a cliff.
W.R. Castle Fire & Rescue was first notified this morning by Gary McClure with Johnson County EM about the stranded dog.A plan was made to assemble the rope rescue team to meet and rescue the dog when proper equipment and personnel was in place.Emergency Management Services was notified of the plan.No one made contact with anyone with the W.R. Fire department that is responsible for that area prior to this morning.Before we could rescue the dog, we had to rescue Lawrence County’s Emergency Management director, who had gotten stranded on the cliff while attempting to help the dog. Paintsville firefighters used their ladder truck to bring him down.Once he was safe, our rope rescue technicians rappelled down to the dog. Unfortunately, the dog refused to come to his rescuer. After a second attempt, the dog slid down the cliff. He escaped capture but did not appear to be injured.The time and resources committed to rescuing the would-be rescuer delayed help for the dog. This is why it is so important to wait on rescuers who are properly trained and equipped.We appreciate everyone’s help and concern for the animal and no one was injured in the rescue.
Also assisting on scene were Gary McClure with Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management and Sheriff Scott Hazlette and Deputy Jeff Castle with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.”