Hero ambos save five greyhounds in floodwaters
Flood waters were rising rapidly around a trailer full of stranded greyhounds as brave rescuing NSW paramedics worried the terrified animals might attack or be swept downstream once set free.
Huge storms lashed the state's drought-stricken New England region over the weekend, with up to 140mm of rain falling at Werris Creek sparking flash floods and cutting off roads.
A multi-agency swift water rescue mission got underway when a car with a trailer full of dogs was washed off a causeway in the Spring Ridge area around 2am on Saturday morning.
The two men, both aged 35, were driving back to Tamworth with five greyhounds along Coonabarabran Road after a race meet in Dubbo when they became stranded in the creek for more than three hours.
"When we first turned up, the water was up to the door handles," Tamworth rescue paramedic Callum Dickson told The Daily Telegraph.
"We said "don't move." Any movement in the car could lift one side and flip them over, and then everyone goes down the river."
Mr Dickson and his colleagues at Ambulance NSW jumped into the water to rescue the men and two greyhounds stuck in the car, before turning their attention to three more dogs inside the submerged trailer that weren't muzzled.
"Luckily we found them alive in the trailer, which was underwater at one stage," he said.
"We were worried about getting chewed or losing one down the river."
But despite being soaking wet and cold, the "beautiful dogs" were happy to see them, Mr Dickson said.
"I think they were more scared than anything, you sort of pat them on the head and give them a cuddle and everyone was cheering," he said.
Unfortunately the owner's car was destroyed.
"Yeah she's buggered, so is the trailer," Mr Dickson said.
"But everyone came home safe."
Mr Dickson thanked NSW Police, Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Volunteer Rescue Association and the Westpac rescue helicopter for their helping in the colossal effort.
And he said just hours after the flood the river was "close to bone dry" again, adding: "hopefully it filled the dams."