News, Trauma

N.Y. EMTs Recognized for Fighting Pit Bull Off of Patient

NEW YORK — EMT partners Dewey Mendonca and Garfield Smythe, of Station 44 in Brownsville, had just gotten their second 911 dispatch call of the day and it was anything but a simple run to Brooklyn Avenue and Eastern Parkway.

A man was being mauled by a pit bull that had gotten loose. Police had not yet arrived and witnesses stood about, too afraid to help.

The victim, who was trying to keep the dog in a headlock, already had deep bites on his right arm and left wrist. Exhausted, he was about to lose his grip — and, likely, his life.

Recognizing that the victim couldn’t hold the dog at bay any longer, Mendonca and Smythe stepped in.

“Our first instinct was to help this gentleman. He had been holding the dog’s head for 20 minutes and no one would help him,” said Smythe, recalling last year’s Nov. 1 incident.

They tried to hold the dog, but it bit Mendonca on the arm as Smythe waved a medical splint he had gotten from the ambulance and successfully frightened the dog away.

Although bleeding, Mendonca said he didn’t want to waste another ambulance coming to the scene to treat him. Instead, they rushed the bleeding victim to Kings County Hospital.

The two EMTs have been nominated for a Liberty Medal in the Bravest category by the FDNY.

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