Porter Fire Chief
Jay Craig announced that the late Porter Fire Department search and rescue
dog K-9 Harley has won a posthumous honor.
Craig announced at
last night’s Town council meeting that he was contacted by the United States
War Dog Association, which has decided to honor Harley with the Canine
Service Dog Award.
Harley passed away
at the age of eight last month, after faithfully serving for six years and
participating in more than 30 search and rescue operations. The Town of
Porter and first responders from all over Northwest Indiana mourned his
passing from illness, and Craig was surprised and gracious to see how
Harley’s story has spread even further.
Craig said he
doesn’t know how the United States War Dog Association found out about
Harley or who may have nominated him for the award, but Harley did have a
following. On a related note, Craig also took a moment to thank Kim Bigelow,
a resident of Maine who followed Harley’s activities via his search and
rescue Facebook page, for putting together what Craig called a “beautiful”
end-of-watch photo collage honoring Harley. Craig had a large copy of the
collage made and framed and presented it to Council member Greg Stinson, who
Craig said is “the only other person I ever allowed to handle Harley in any
In other Porter FD
business, Craig reported that the Porter FD will get its new wildland fire
fighting gear soon. Craig said he has completed all the necessary sizing and
is ready to place the order. The National Park Service is providing the
equipment at a cost of up to $25,000.
Craig thanked his
firefighters for a job well done on the Fourth of July, where the Department
responded to 28 calls while being on call for multiple fireworks shows and
keeping the Family Fourth Fest staffed all day. Craig said he had nearly 100
percent participation from his crew. Craig also congratulated Firefighter
Marc Piazza for earning his certifications for rescue diving and night
Stinson piped up to
recognize Steven Davis, who celebrated 30 years of service to the Porter FD
last month, and to Craig, who is in his 25th year serving.