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Video: Pa. firefighters rescue dog from sinkhole

Alpha Volunteer Fire Company’s assistant chief was lowered into the hole to retrieve Frederick, the ‘extremely friendly’ corgi


Photo/Alpha Fire Company

Bret Pallotto
Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A dog was rescued Wednesday by volunteer firefighters after he was trapped in a State College-area sinkhole that was upward of 10 feet deep.

Frederick, an “extremely friendly” corgi, avoided injury after falling into the sinkhole about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday along the 800 block of Elmwood Street in College Township, Alpha Volunteer Fire Company Assistant Chief of Field Services and Operations Rusty Schreiner said.

Frederick, Schreiner said, was roaming the yard when he stumbled into the sinkhole. The saucer-shaped surface depression is formed when underlying material — like limestone or salt — dissolves or when caves or mines collapse.

Firefighters first assessed the stability of the sinkhole, then worked to set up a tripod to lower Assistant Chief of Training Dennis Harris into the sinkhole. He harnessed Frederick, who was hoisted out of the hole and reunited with his owners after about 30 minutes.

It wasn’t the first time a crew led by Schreiner and Harris rescued a dog from a sinkhole in the Centre Region.

A golden retriever named Skye was hoisted in from a sinkhole in February 2016 that was about 15 feet deep at The Arboretum at Penn State. Harris was the one who descended the ladder to reach Skye, who was also uninjured.

“It tells me I’m getting old,” Schreiner, an about 30-year veteran of the fire service, said about Wednesday’s rescue. “Very scarce calls are starting to come around a second time in my career, so I’ve being doing this for too long, I guess.”


(c)2022 the Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)