Several fire department units in Mississippi joined forces to rescue a 4-year-old boy and his dog from a 23-foot hole.
The incident occurred several miles outside Brookhaven Monday night. Responders identified the 4-year-old boy as Gabe Allbritton, who was in the yard with his grandmother before he went missing, the Clarion-Ledger reported.
Family said the boy’s dog had already been missing for two to three days. They believe Gabe heard his dog and fell into the hole when he turned to look for it.
Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said they received the call at around 5 p.m. The rescue mission became a collaborative effort between the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the Brookhaven Fire Department and every volunteer department in Lincoln County.
(Photo Credit: Kaitlin Mullins/The Daily Leader)
Using a rope, Capt. Mark Porter of the Brookhaven Fire Department and Capt. Chris Reid of the Hog Chain Volunteer Fire Department were able to get the boy out of the hole at around 8 p.m. Rushing said the boy was not stuck, but he did not know how to attach the rope emergency personnel gave him.
Dozens of responders and nearly 100 onlookers cheered as the men pulled Gabe out from the hole. The dog was also rescued shortly after and has been safely returned to the family.
Porter and Reid said they were thinking about their own children during the rescue mission.
“When we got him to the top of the hole and were able to get our hands on him, we were ecstatic,” Reid said. “Relief came over us, and the Lord blessed us and blessed him. Having kids, that was on my mind the whole time, ‘What if it was my kids?’ That’s the effort we put into it.”
“Once he started up the hole, the feeling that you had of him on the way up and the closer he got, within a foot of me, close enough for me to reach him and I still couldn’t reach him, I can’t explain it,” said Porter. “But when I finally got my hand on him, I hadn’t felt that way in a while.”
Rushing said the boy was taken to a nearby hospital for a routine check up, but was unharmed. He gave thanks to all the departments that responded and helped rescue the boy.
“Those guys got a rapport with him and started talking to him so they did most of the work and we were just helping out any way we could. The firemen did all the work,” Rushing said. “Just seeing him so close but so far was the hardest part.”