A dog in Swift Current, Sask., is safe at home after a firefighter rescued it from an icy creek on Tuesday.
According to Fire Chief Denis Pilon, the dog was allowed to run off-leash, which led to the animal finding itself out on the ice. He said that the owners immediately called 911.
“The dog had been running along the road that follows the creek and for some reason ran down onto the ice and went through,” Pilon said in a phone interview Monday.
Video posted on Facebook shows one of the firefighters, tied to a strap, making his way to the dog who is near the opposite side of the creek. Upon reaching the dog, he begins to lift the canine out of the water but briefly falls in himself as some of the ice breaks.
Despite falling in, Pilon said the firefighter is doing fine because the suit he was wearing is for ice rescue and meant to withstand cold temperatures, adding that training with the suits is done by breaking through ice and submerging themselves in cold water.
After a few more seconds, the dog is lifted out of the water and slowly brought back to shore, while the dog attempts to gain footing on the slippery surface. Two other officers join in getting the dog back on solid ground.
Once back on land, the dog starts making its way up a hill, with one person commenting, “he wants to come see Ma and Pa,” as a police officer attempts to get a warm blanket on the dog.
People then gather around and pet the dog, and police cover the animal with the blanket.
The fire chief said he posted the video on social media because the incident serves as a reminder for pets and children to be kept away from the creek.
“The ice is thin, stay off it,” Pilon said. “We’ve gone through some very cold -20 temperatures which froze [the creek] and then temperatures came up to 10, so it was very thin.”
The rescue isn’t the first one the city’s firefighters have had to make at the creek.
In February 2016, firefighters were called into action to help bring a deer out of the water after it had fallen in. Like with the dog’s rescue, the full-grown doe was lifted out of the water by a firefighter and brought to land. She was then covered with multiple blankets and jackets until she was warm.
“The risk is there because we have seen kids walking across the creek and tried to get them off it and stuff like that,” Pilon added.
Another message he said the video helped communicate was if someone’s child fell through the ice, the fire department “has the ability to get out there fast and get them out too.” But even though the department can respond quickly, Pilon says people should stay off the ice.
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