WINCHESTER — Upon his arrival at a fire scene recently, a Winchester police officer answered a call beyond his normal duties to help save a cat still inside the burning home.
Patrolman Bryan Jalava rescued the feline on Aug. 20, and video from his body camera made the rounds on social media late last week and through the holiday weekend.
The shaky footage shows Jalava climbing a ladder toward the smoke, then with one arm holding the rungs, grabbing the tuxedo cat, Nightmare, by the scruff of the neck and pulling it from the window. Aside from a few meows and a short-lived effort to cling to the torn window screen, Nightmare appeared calm through the ordeal and was handed off to another first responder beneath the ladder to get oxygen treatment.
Jalava, 31, said he’s been at the department for about a year, and has usually assisted fire crews only in diverting traffic and keeping the scene clear for firefighters to do their work.
However, for the recent mid-day fire on High Street, he said he was the first on scene.
While the fire crew focused on the inside of the home, Jalava and Winchester Police Chief Mike Tollett noticed the cat meowing from a smoking window on the second floor.
“I think a lot of it was the training kicking in — and not even specific training, because we don’t really cross-train with the fire [department] all that much,” Jalava, of Swanzey, said Tuesday, explaining that general police training to get those in danger to safety overtook any conscious thoughts he could remember.
As shown in the video, Jalava and Tollett figured out how to get a ladder off of a fire truck’s latches before the patrolman scampered up to entice Nightmare to come within reach.
“Pets are part of your family,” Jalava said.
Unfortunately, a dog and some kittens in a litter perished in the fire, according to Tollett, while other pets were rescued and received oxygen treatment.
The fire was stopped at a first alarm, but the family was displaced due to water damage, Tollett said.
Although the experience has brought Jalava more attention than usual and fits a time-trodden, feel-good narrative, the patrolman said he feels honored to have been able to get the cat out alive.
“It’s that quintessential, you know, generic, the-firefighter-saved-the-cat-from-a-tree type of thing,” he said, “but I was just blessed to have the opportunity to actually save a creature, save a life.”
Cheshire Medical Center is slated to open a hospital-based pharmacy this fall for its patients and employees.
The pharmacy will take the place of the Keene hospital’s gift shop, which closed in February.
Linda Sawyer, senior director of retail and specialty pharmacy for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, said the new pharmacy will have a small front section for gifts, cards and flowers.
The pharmacy will be run by Cheshire Medical Center, part of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System, and overseen by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, which runs its own in-house pharmacy on its campus in Lebanon; a 24-hour pharmacy at Centerra Marketplace, also in Lebanon; and a pharmacy at Dartmouth College in Hanover.
The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System reported a nearly $70 million surplus at the end of its fiscal year in June, partially credited to its pharmacy business, according to a report by the Valley News of Lebanon Tuesday.
Sawyer said the hospital-run pharmacies provide a better patient experience than retail pharmacies.
“As we expanded in Lebanon, we believe it’s been more patient-focused than other chain pharmacies,” she said. “What we do differently is we are staffed better than the chain model, [and] we have the electronic medical records.”
Three pharmaceutical technicians and a manager have been hired for the Keene pharmacy, according to Sawyer.
There is also an option to contact a patient’s medical provider while they are at the pharmacy for clarity on prescriptions.
Christopher Saunders, the pharmacy’s soon-to-be manager, said it’s also about convenience for the patient.
“People are sick, they aren’t feeling well, they don’t want to go anywhere else,” Saunders said. “We want to be centrally located for those patients and employees.”
In an email, Cheshire Medical Center spokesman Matthew Barone said this will be the first pharmacy the hospital has had on site, “so this will be a first for us and the community.”
In addition to filling prescriptions, which Sawyer predicts will be about 100 per day, pharmacists will be able to administer eight different types of vaccinations with no appointment necessary.
The pharmacy will also have a private consultation room for personal prescription questions or immunizations and a drug take-back box available for anyone in the community.
Most insurances will be accepted, Sawyer said, including New Hampshire and Vermont Medicaid.
Once open, the pharmacy hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patients will also be able to call a 24-hour, toll-free line, Sawyer said.