Video showing LAFD Air Operations Fire 4 with hoist/swift water rescue and safely placing firefighter and dog on Bandini Boulevard Bridge.
Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter Joe St. Georges, 50, was lowered by a helicopter hoist line Friday afternoon into the rough waters of the Los Angeles River in Vernon, California to rescue a dog in trouble. The dog put up a struggle during the swift water rescue as the firefighter attempted to secure him for the ride from the water surface near the 37th Street Bandini Boulevard Bridge to the safety of the helicopter. During the struggle, the German Shepherd mix bit the Joe St. Georges on the hand and thumb. The video of the rescue was captured by a KTLA Channel 5 news helicopter.
The dog was lowered safely to the Bandini Boulevard Bridge and transported by a fire/rescue ambulance to a Downey shelter run by the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority, which serves 14 cities, including Vernon.
The dog will be quarantined to rule out rabies infection. The Los Angeles firefighter suffered significant injuries to his hand and arm. He is seeing a hand specialist on Saturday. The Los Angeles City firefighters responded from LAFD Fire Station 44 in the Atwater Village area 1410 Cypress Avenue. The helicopter team flying Helicopter 4 — a Bell 205A-1 from Air Operations in Van Nuys, CA. Helicopter Fire 4 is primarily used to drop water on wildfires, but can also be used as an air ambulance or as a hoist for rescue operations.