Firefighter bitten in helicopter LA river dog rescue - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Firefighter bitten in helicopter LA river dog rescue

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) - Los Angeles fire officials say a German shepherd hoisted to safety after being stranded in a storm-swollen river is fine, but the fireman who splashed down in a harness to rescue the dog has been hospitalized.

Officials say Joe St. Georges was bitten by the male German shepherd, and suffered severe hand and arm injuries.

Officials say at least 50 firefighters responded to a report of a dog in the Los Angeles River at about 11:20 a.m. Friday.

After crews dangled life vests and a float ring from above, St. Georges was deployed from the helicopter. He wrestled with the frightened canine, wrapped a rope around it and lifted it to safety.

Los Angeles Fire Capt. Steve Ruda says the dog is being checked for rabies. The dog had a collar but its owner is unknown.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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