Heroic dog back from Haiti

By Althea Paul - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) -  The life-saving dog, Blaze, and his trainer are back from their heroic mission in Haiti. Last week, the four-legged creature was able to perform a miracle by saving a little girl trapped in the rubble.

The Border Collie actually helped save several lives while on a rescue mission in Haiti. "He worked like a champ. He never faltered. He worked as hard as I asked of him and for as long as I asked him," said his owner, Steve Driscoll

But Blaze is just one part of the team. Monday, a total of five firefighters from various departments around Palm Beach County were recognized for the 12 days they spent in Haiti as part of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team.

The group, members of two different teams, arrived in the devastated country two days after the earthquake hit. All of them, at first, were overwhelmed. "In some cases, we drove for miles, and the entire route was just littered by destroyed buildings," said Mark Anderson, Palm Beach County Rescue.

The groups, though, were able to pull a total of 18 people out of the rubble, including a 2-year-old girl after Blaze sniffed her out. The toddler had been trapped for six days. "I mean, it was overwhelming at that point when I looked into the hole and saw it," Driscoll desrbied. "There were 12 other guys with myself and my dog, and everyone of them had wet eyes."

Even just one rescue was rewarding for these men and man's best friend. "It was an incredible experience to say the least -- humbling and rewarding," said Boynton Beach firefighter Vance Carpenter. "Just glad to do what we could do. Wish we could've done more."

Members of the rescue teams go through years of training, including Blaze who has been training since he was a puppy. He's now 8 years old.