MT. JULIET, Tenn. - There's a first time for every emergency call.
“When they don't know who to call, they call the fire department,” laughed Mt. Juliet Fire Chief Jamie Luffman.
Mt. Juliet resident Randy Farrell said Friday a noise led him to his neighbor's pool.
“I kept hearing a noise and I didn't know what it was, I kept hearing something splash,” he said.
When he ran for a closer look he saw a swimmer in distress.
“You could see the deer’s head swimming around and it was making noise calling for its mother,” Chief Luffman said.
Farrell said the baby deer was frantic in the water. After attempts to get it out with a rope were unsuccessful he called 911.
“I said, ‘I got a deer that's going to drown in a minute, and I need help,’” he said, aware of how crazy it sounded.
Firefighters have made lots of rescues, but not usually like this. Chief Luffman walked up the stairs to the back deck which led right to the above ground pool and stripped to his underwear.
“I eased in and got over right about in the skimmer over there,” he said, pointing. He swam toward the deer.
“The minute I laid my hand on her back she just rolled into my arms she was done,” he said.
He placed her on the deck and after a quick check by animal control they released her.
The chief estimated the deer was about 90 pounds or the size of a large dog. As soon as they let her go she ran right to the woods lining the yard.
“It was a happy ending as far as I’m concerned,” Farrell said.
The chief agreed. It was an unusual call, but he said that's a good thing.
“For all the rough calls we go on and all the things that we see, something like this kind of lifts your spirit a little bit,” he said.
He's just glad no one got a picture of the rescue in just his underwear.
“I told everyone to leave and throw me a towel,” he laughed.