Chesterton Tribune



K9 Harley receives posthumous award

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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 official capacity.”

Fire Department Report

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 diving.

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.



Posted 7/25/2018




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