In our usual Christmas tale, reindeer supposedly are the ones pulling Santa Claus’ sleigh. But a complete turn around of events happened in Oregon just recently.
Clad in red, Jeff Johnston, later on identified as a firefighter in a local district of Oregon, was caught on video trying to reach out to a trapped reindeer on a frozen golf course pond in Sunriver, Oregon.
The reindeer seemed to be petrified. Through its might, the reindeer slipped and glided, and its legs completely bent. It could not get all its legs underneath him, going nowhere.
Then came in firefighter Johnston, as reported by AP News, astride a new ice-rescue sled that was as bright red as the suit he wore, and as the nose on Rudolph the reindeer, which guided Santa’s sleigh one foggy Christmas Eve. Johnson gently nudged the reindeer to the edge of the pond and freed the trapped reindeer.
As soon as it gained a solid footing and with a seemingly wave from the firefighter, the reindeer immediately ran away. One can only assume that the reindeer joined its other mates for some deer games.
Meanwhile, Benjamin O’Keefe, captain in the fire department of the resort and residential community of Sunriver in Oregon, according to AP News, was ashore filming the seemingly rare, yet admirable encounter between Johnston and the reindeer.
The 2.14-minute video of the encounter, upon surfacing on the internet, became sensational and garnered millions of views. It was also picked up and broadcasted by local and international televisions, to the delight of the viewers.
Johnson’s act of compassion, meanwhile, did not go unnoticed. Aside from the fame he received after the video surfaced on the internet, an animal rights group was all praise to what he had done.
According to an article by KBND, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), through its spokesperson Amber Canavan, will give the Sunriver station the Compassionate Fire Department Award.
“PETA is honoring the Sunriver Fire and Rescue for their bravery and determination in rescuing a deer who was trapped on a frozen pond. These rescue workers have set a tremendous example that we must always come to the aid of anyone who needs help, and local residents are lucky to have such kind and skilled emergency providers.”
Canavan lauded Johnston’s actions, calling him an example of compassion. She added that it’s important to call an emergency services provider any time someone sees an animal in great danger or need.
“We have sent them a Compassionate Fire Department award, and that’s going to come with a framed certificate, a box of delicious vegan cookies, and a letter of congratulations, as well as a copy of the ‘Engine 2 Diet,’ which chronicles a Texas firefighter’s 28-day plan for staying in prime, firefighting shape by eating vegan meals.”
Although Johnston’s action at first seemed funny and a complete turnaround of what we know as a Christmas tale, he surely is a Santa Claus — a man ready to make anybody happy — to the reindeer he extended his help to.