Illinois Firefighters Think Outside the Box to Rescue Dog That Fell 40 Feet into Well

by Jennifer Shea

When firefighters got a call about a dog that had accidentally fallen down a 40-foot well, they feared the worst. But little Rico made it out alive, thanks to the heroic efforts of first responders from two towns in southwestern Illinois.

Prairietown is an unincorporated community in Madison County. Edwardsville, which hosts Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the county seat. The entire county has a population of about 262,966, according to U.S. Census data.

Firefighters in Prairietown, near the Missouri border, arrived and took stock of Rico’s predicament. The pup had decided to walk over to the neighbors’ place and took a tumble into the well on the way over there. The firefighters quickly realized they had to summon help.

“Huge shout out to Edwardsville Fire Department for sending out their confined space/technical rescue team!!! This would have been a different story without you,” the Prairietown Fire Department posted to Facebook yesterday.

Team Used Specialized Training to Venture Into the Well

Luckily for Rico, neighboring Edwardsville has some special resources. And that includes its own highly-trained team for difficult rescues in tight spaces.

So the Prairietown firefighters called in their brethren. And they showed up in the dark. Then they set up a pulley system featuring a tripod on top of the well, according to People. Next they lowered a firefighter down there to get Rico out.

“Rico is doing well and was happy to see everyone once he was freed!” the firefighters said on Facebook.

One of Those Days When Firefighters Love Their Job

In a post Monday night, immediately after they rescued Rico, the Prairietown firefighters, elated to have gotten the pup out alive, posted that this was “one of those calls that reminds us why we do this.”

“Why when the pager goes off during dinner, bedtime stories with our kids, or family events we go running out the door,” they added. “When we got a call about Rico being down a 40 ft well we all feared the worst. We called Edwardsville Fire Department in for some help and with their heroic efforts Rico is safe and giving us doggy kisses!!!”

Firefighting can be a difficult and sometimes thankless job, with firefighters needing to summon great physical stamina for some calls and the sensitivity of a social worker for others. But after Rico’s difficult rescue, all they needed to do was sit back and accept the pup’s gratitude for saving his doggy life.

Now that’s a rewarding day at the office.