First responders rescue dog trapped in storm drain

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – First responders in Tennessee came to the rescue of a dog that was stuck in a narrow storm drain Tuesday morning.

Laura Cummins, with Sumner County EMS, crawled into the drain to retrieve the dog that was about 30 feet below.

Courtesy: Sumner County EMS/Facebook
Courtesy: Sumner County EMS/Facebook

The rescue was a success.

“I was really happy I could get her dog back to her safe and sound,” said Cummins, who is petite. She is 5’2 and 115 pounds. Her build proved to be the right fit for the task at hand given the diameter of the storm drain was just 16 inches.

“There’s not a lot of times in EMS where being a small female is an advantage,” said Cummins. Tuesday proved to be one of those times.

About 30 first responders from several agencies, including Sumner County EMA, Sumner County EMS, Sumner County Animal Control, the Gallatin Fire Department, and the Sumner County Highway Department, showed up.

Cummins was the only first responder who could fit in the storm drain.

“She was the only female there and we’re a bunch of big guys and, you know, we had a 16-inch hole to go in,” said Ken Weidner, the director of Sumner County Emergency Management and commander on scene.

Courtesy: Sumner County EMS/Facebook
Courtesy: Sumner County EMS/Facebook

“When we looked at putting someone in the hole, she’s the one we needed to get to go,” he continued.

Cummins was wearing a harness and went about 12 feet into the pipe. She used an 18-foot extendable pole typically used for duck hunting to hook onto Carley’s collar.

“I finally got it hooked and when they started pulling I pulled her and it was just one fluid motion,” Cummins told News 2.

“The owner did at that point come and give me a hug. It was a great moment,” she continued.

The dog was not injured and has since been reunited with its owner, Jody Whalen of Gallatin.

“Just a little, bitty angel; that’s who she is. I mean, she didn’t hesitate. She just walked up there and said ‘I can do this,’” said Whalen.

“She saved my dog; she saved my dog. That’s awesome,” she continued.

Cummins didn’t have training for this type of rescue but will start training for the Special Operations Team in the spring. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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