Firefighters are grateful that the neighbor who saw the incident called 911 instead of rushing into the freezing pond as well.
“Obviously they’re dogs and they don’t think about going out on ice, but we were glad the neighbor who was concerned didn’t go after them,” said Nevil Humphreys, a battalion chief with the Eagle Fire Department. Ice rescues become even more harrowing for firefighters, he said, when concerned citizens try to launch their own rescue attempts.
Firefighters used ice rescue gear Tuesday to save one of the dogs, but the second they weren’t able to revive.
The neighbor reported the two dogs chased a goose into the pond behind a house on Shearwater Lane, close to Heron Point Lane. Construction work had reportedly helped the two dogs escape their yard in the same neighborhood.
When firefighters arrived around 3:30 p.m., one dog was trapped under the ice. The other was still visible, Humphreys said.
“The one was near the shore but couldn’t get out because the ice (was) slippery,” he said.
Firefighters wore protective ice rescue gear: suits made with material similar to a whitewater raft. The material insulates the firefighter, wraps around their entire body and makes them buoyant. Firefighters train each year in ice rescues to prepare for these types of incidents, Humphreys said.
Firefighters waded into the water and pulled out the dog nearest to the shore. They had to break the ice to recover the second dog, which they performed CPR on; it didn’t survive.
The surviving dog was treated and returned home.