Choking dog saved by Augusta fire department

Ollie was saved from choking by Augusta firefighter/paramedics
Ollie was saved from choking by Augusta firefighter/paramedics
Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 5:44 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2020 at 10:39 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - A couple in Augusta is thanking their local fire department for saving their dog when he started choking on a treat.

Earl Kingsbury and his wife, Lorraine, were enjoying a quiet weekend evening when Ollie, a Japanese Chin they got from a rescue eleven years ago, began choking on a treat.

”All of the sudden, my wife said, I don’t think he’s breathing. So I started performing the infant Heimlich maneuver, and it just wasn’t drawing the treat loose, and he was gasping for air.”

They needed help, but the nearest open veterinarian was in Lewiston.

“I didn’t think he was going to make it that far.”

Lorraine's thoughts turned to the Augusta Fire Department just a quarter mile away.

“She picked him up and said, I’m going to take him to the fire station.”

Firefighter paramedics Miranda Taylor and Ryan Morton were on duty that night.

“We at first thought it was a baby in someone’s arms.” said Taylor. “We both ran to the door to see who it was.”

“They sprang right into action.” said Earl.

"We recognized right away that the dog was choking, his tongue was very blue."

“I thought we were watching the end.” said Earl. “They worked on him relentlessly for about twenty minutes.”

“We ended up eventually getting the treat out by holding his mouth open and grabbing it with medical tongs.” said Taylor.

Morton says it's the first time they've helped a dog this way, adding their training prepares them for all kinds of situations.

"The knowledge of basic airway, basic anatomy helps us out with this as well. They're set up pretty similar."

“It was scary.” Earl admits. “Ollie has been suffering for the last six months with congestive heart failure.”

Ollie still wheezes due to his heart condition, but Earl says he's fully recovered from the choking incident.

“It’s really great to see Ollie doing better.” said Taylor. “I’m a dog lover myself. I have a couple dogs of my own.”

Earl and Lorraine say they are forever grateful.

“We were very fortunate that they were there and fortunate that they were persistent and creative. They truly are our heroes.”

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