It's not every day that medics with York Regional Emergency Medical Services treat a patient of the four-legged variety.

It fact, it was a first.

But that's exactly what happened when they were dispatched to a fire at a York Township home on Sunday.

Firefighters found two dogs inside the burning garage attached to a house in the 800 block of Belle Road.

"When they brought the dogs out (one) was not breathing," said Ted Hake, chief of York Regional Emergency Medical Services.

Firefighters and David Snelbaker, an EMT, Chris Bardsley, a paramedic supervisor, and Alan Shaw, a paramedic, began to treat the dog, a collie, giving it oxygen via a specialized mask for animals.

It didn't take long to see results.

The dog started to breathe again, and Snelbaker continued to treat it in Hake's Chevrolet Tahoe medic SUV en route to a veterinary clinic.

A second dog found in the garage wasn't so lucky. It died despite efforts by the medics, Hake said.

Treatment: The dog was taken to Animal Emergency and Referral Center of York, 1640 S. Queen St. in Spring Garden Township, where a veterinarian and staff continued treatment, Hake said.

Lauren Crescenzi, a veterinarian there, said she can't comment about the dog's condition at the wishes of its owners, who are having a "hard time right now."

According to Yoe Fire Co., the dog was in stable condition as of Sunday night.

Hake said treating a dog wasn't a norm for EMTs.


"It's kind of out of the ordinary," he said. "It was certainly the right thing to do."

The fire: Homeowners returned to home to find smoke coming from the garage and called 911 about 4:20 p.m., said Lt. Tim Stem of Yoe Fire Co.

Responding firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the garage and fire in part of it.

That's when they found the dogs.

"Unfortunately, we were not able to resuscitate the one," Stem said.

Firefighters were able to quickly knock down the flames, containing it to the garage, he said.

The fire is under investigation by Detective Donald Hopple Jr., a fire investigator with York Area Regional Police.

No other injuries were reported. An estimate of damage was not available Sunday night.

Yoe firefighters were assisted at the scene by their counterparts from Red Lion, Dallastown, York Township and York Area United Fire & Rescue.

- Reach Greg Gross at