Hero New Jersey Officer Risks Life and Limb for Man’s Best Friend

Hold on while we get a dump truck to carry the testicular fortitude it took for an Ewing New Jersey police officer to climb into a burning home to rescue a dog trapped in its kennel.

The officer, Julia Caldwell, watched a fellow officer partially climb through a home’s window on fire back in June of this year. The officer was quickly repelled by smoke and heat coming from the room. However, Caldwell was undeterred, exclaiming, “get me in there!” When the sergeant on scene expressed doubt, Caldwell stated, “yes, I can, watch.”

Another officer lifted Caldwell up and helped her squeeze through a small window to retrieve the dog. Caldwell would later learn that sometimes the heat is more dangerous than the smoke as she inhaled invisible, heated gases inside the home, injuring her lungs. The body camera footage shows Caldwell opening the dog kennel, wrapping the dog in a towel, and bringing it to the window. After handing the dog off to the other officer, Caldwell was assisted back to the ground, where she could be seen trying to catch her breath.

Video of Rescue

The footage ends there, but Caldwell’s situation quickly worsened when she started talking oddly, telling EMS on scene that her tongue felt funny and was swelling. Caldwell stated the next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital 26 hours later, confused.

Caldwell was taken to an area hospital, where she began recovering from injuries that turned out to be worse than initially anticipated. Caldwell had to be intubated by EMS and was put into a medically induced coma at the hospital.

Caldwell is still learning about her injuries as she recovers at her home. She continues to suffer from reactive airway disease, or RAD, a respiratory condition in which the bronchial tubes in the lungs overreact to an irritant, triggering wheezing and shortness of breath.

Despite her long and arduous recovery, Caldwell is firm in her belief that it was worth it, stating, “I look at it this way, I have two dogs, and I just couldn’t imagine losing my house, everything in it, and my dogs in the blink of an eye.”

Thank you, Officer Caldwell, for rescuing man’s best friend. I wish you a speedy recovery.