Local rescue teams save a man and a dog after a fall

PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Local rescue teams are credited with bringing a man and dog to safety after a terrifying fall. It happened Friday night in Luzerne County.

The man and the dog tumbled almost 60ft off a cliff in Plymouth Township. It was a team effort between the three fire departments, battling difficult terrain and crossing a fast moving creek, to get victims to safety.

Some of the firefighters who assisted in the rescue are sharing their story with Eyewitness News.

Tactical rescue equipment is not often used by the City of Nanticoke Fire Department. But when it is, someone’s life is usually at stake.

Firefighters used ropes and a rescue basket to help save two lives Friday after a man and a dog fell nearly 60 feet down the side of a mountain, and to the banks of Harveys Creek near Stand Ice Cream Maureen .

“An eyewitness, who was sitting here at the ice cream stand, heard a lot of noise, and when she looked up, she saw a man who was falling off the side of the cliff with a dog,” said said Chief Mark Boncal, with Nanticoke City Fire Department.

Deputy Chief John Polifka and firefighter Keith Munson were the first to go to the scene. They faced obstacles to reach the injured man, who was stranded on the other side of the fast-moving stream.

“Terrain there is not very nice at all, we also had to cross a body of water which makes that even more difficult,” said Polifka. “We had to set up all the different types of systems and other things just to get him out. »

With the help of a passerby, Munson was able to locate the injured dog downriver.

“We put the dog in the same basket we put the patient in and used the same transport system to get the dog across. And luckily for us, there was a vet, or someone who worked in a veterinary practice that was here,” Munson said.

Polifka says tactical rescue missions are a team effort, and this one was a success with support from Ashley and Hanover Townships.

It’s dangerous work, which is why Chef Boncal says…

“We want to remind people hiking in the area, especially in these mountains, just be careful, watch what you’re doing, so we don’t have another incident like this happen. »

The seriously injured man was transported by ambulance to a local trauma center. There is no official word on the extent of his injuries. The rescued dog was alert and taken to a local animal hospital for treatment.