Chief Michael P. Murphy
150 Park St.
North Reading, MA 01864
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 5, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
North Reading Police Officers and Firefighters Save Choking Puppy
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NORTH READING — Police Chief Michael P. Murphy and Fire Chief Don Stats are very pleased to announce that, after a dramatic 10-minute emergency medical effort that was captured on video in the lobby of the police station, North Reading police officers and firefighters saved the life of a choking puppy.
North Reading Resident Megan Vitale ran into the police station with with an acquaintance shortly after noontime Sunday, saying that her 9-week-old Saint Bernard puppy Bodhi was choking on food. When officers came around the corner, they found the puppy was not breathing, limp, and unresponsive.
Officers Jorge Hernandez, Peter DiPietro and Joseph Aleo came around the window and began to attend to the puppy. Assisted by North Reading firefighters, the first responders administered back blows and chest compressions, ultimately dislodging the obstruction.
The dog was revived and provided with oxygen by firefighters in the lobby. The puppy left with its owners and is being treated by a veterinarian at this time.
Both Chiefs praised the quick thinking of officers and firefighters.
“Ultimately, a life was saved thanks to rescuers falling back on their training and remaining calm. Even though we are not faced with this kind of incident every day, the officers reacted just as they would in any emergency situation,” Chief Murphy said. “We are hopeful that the puppy will make a full recovery.”
North Reading Firefighters used a special oxygen mask designed for pets. Over the past few years, the firefighters have received specialized training in how to respond to emergencies involving pets.
“Many of our firefighters have pets at home in their own families. We do not get to choose the emergency situation that comes our way, so it is important that first responders be prepared for anything,” Chief Stats said.