First responders are no strangers to running towards trouble, rather than away.
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For the past 8 years, K-9 officer Roni has been by the side of Officer Joel Nitchman of the Deer Park, Texas police department. They’ve been through a lot together, and the cop thinks of the dog as a member of his own family. Recently, the narcotics team had just returned to the station when an EF-3 tornado suddenly formed nearby.
The wind picked up fast, and before Joel knew what was happening it was a full-blast gale outside. Remembering Roni was still inside his crate in the patrol car, Joel didn’t think twice about rushing outside into the storm to get his partner.
“The thought of debris, or the car flipping over…. I couldn’t do that to him,” said Joel. “I couldn’t have him out there during that.”
Security footage shows Joel struggling through blinding wind and rain towards the car. He recalls feeling debris hitting his face as he headed into the wind, and he knew the situation was getting more perilous with every passing second.
Conditions deteriorated even further when Joel made it around to the other side of the car. The wind and rain were so strong, he couldn’t get the door open. When he finally pried it open, a terrified Roni refused to budge.
“I could barely open his door,” Joel said. “When I did, he’s a smart dog, he saw what was going on outside and he said I’m not coming out.”
In the video, you can barely even make out Joel, Roni, or the car as the tornado worsens. With a lot of coaxing, Roni finally followed his partner out of the car, and Joel was able to lead him by the leash back into the safety of the station.
“Never been through anything like this before,” Joel said of the harrowing event. Now that the danger has passed, he feels even closer to his K-9 partner, and he’d do it all over again, if he had to.
“I love that dog,” he explained. “He’s my hip attachment almost every day of the week. He’s a part of our family. We can’t leave a loved one like that. There’s no way I was going to leave him like that.”
Well done, officer! It’s nice to see how close their bond is, and to know that these cops have each other’s backs through thick and thin.
Watch the video below to see the dramatic video, and don’t forget to share.
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