In 2017, First responder Andrew Klein from the Santa Monica Fire Department in California was hailed a hero by Marley, a pooch who lost consciousness in his apartment, and his human mom. The building burst out in flames, and the first responders were able to put out the fire in time for the residents to evacuate. An unconscious Marley was pulled out of the apartment and brought to the grassy clearing in front of the building.
Photographer Billy Fernando was driving near the area when he noticed the commotion. After parking his vehicle, he came closer to the scene and watched the firefighters work. “As I was standing outside, I saw the firefighter, Mr. Klein, running toward the curbside grass area carrying something,” Fernando said. “I didn’t know what it was at first, but then I realized that it was a pet who had been trapped in the fire. The dog was unconscious, limp, and not moving at all.”
Firefighter Klein initially placed an oxygen mask, hoping to revive the dog but noticed that he was not responding. Without hesitation, Klein removed the mask and performed CPR on the unconscious dog. Although Klein was exhausted, he did not give up.
“Just a minute after, he began performing CPR on the pet without any hesitation,” Fernando added. “It was an awe-inspiring moment. The owner was watching it in horror. She was terrified the dog wouldn’t make it.”
20 minutes passed, and after numerous attempts, Marley finally gained consciousness. At that exact moment, everybody was relieved. “It’s as if the big weight lifted off my chest. I was overwhelmed with joy and tears,” Fernando said. “I witnessed the dog come back to life.” Marley was okay despite being disoriented at first.
Firefighter Andrew Klein and the other first responders left the scene happy and proud to have done a great job, all in a day’s work, but Mr. Klein’s heroism will never be forgotten from that day forward. Marley was able to thank the firefighters personally after a few days.
“The owner was in tears. Everyone was very happy with the ending. We are very proud of the efforts done by Andrew Klein from Santa Monica Fire Department,” Fernando said. “Firefighters have always been role models for me, and I admire them deeply for what they do for the community. Being able to see this moment was really a privilege!”
Image credits: © Billy Fernando