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Fairfield Firefighters Rescue Dog From Ice-Covered Pond

Fairfield Firefighters Rob Petrie (in the yellow rescue suit) and Nick Gentile (with the hat and life jacket) rescue Delilah after she became trapped on an ice-covered pond. Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department
Fairfield Firefighters Rob Petrie (in the yellow rescue suit) and Nick Gentile (with the hat and life jacket) rescue Delilah after she became trapped on an ice-covered pond Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department
Fairfield Firefighters Rob Petrie (in the yellow rescue suit) and Nick Gentile (with the hat and life jacket) along with Animal Control Officer Joe Felner (in the green uniform) rescue Delilah after she became trapped on an ice-covered pond Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department
Fairfield Firefighters Rob Petrie (in the yellow rescue suit) and Nick Gentile (with the hat and life jacket) along with Animal Control Officer Joe Felner (in the green uniform) rescue Delilah after she became trapped on an ice-covered pond Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department
Fairfield Firefighters Rob Petrie (in the yellow rescue suit) and Nick Gentile (with the hat and life jacket) along with Animal Control Officer Joe Felner (in the green uniform) rescue Delilah after she became trapped on an ice-covered pond Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department
Though she was cold and wet, Delilah was unharmed by her misadventure. Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Fairfield firefighters leapt into action and braved the elements Monday morning to rescue a dog who had become trapped on an ice-covered pond.

Fairfield Emergency Communications Center received a call at 10:41 a.m. from a resident on Robert Lane who reported that his dog was stuck on the ice. Delilah, a 19-year-old shepherd mix, had wandered onto the ice and was unable to get back to shore. The owner tried to reach the dog with a pole but was unsuccessful. He resisted the urge to go out onto the ice and called 911 for help.

Fairfield Fire Engine 1, Ladder 2 and C3 responded. Under the direction of Lt. Phil Higgins, firefighter Rob Petrie donned a cold water rescue suit and prepared for the rescue. Firefighter Nick Gentile manned a safety rope and the crew from Ladder 2 provided back up.

The thin ice broke as soon as Petrie stepped onto the pond, fire officials said. The shallow water at the edge of the pond dropped off quickly to almost 10 feet in depth where Delilah was stranded. With the help of a rescue stick provided by Animal Control Officer Joe Felner, Delilah was quickly rescued. Although cold and wet, she was unharmed by her misadventure.

"This is a perfect example of how the system should work. The dog's owner fought his natural instinct to self-rescue his dog and called 911 for help. Our firefighters used their training and special equipment to quickly and safely rescue Delilah," said Assistant Chief George Gomola. "If the owner had attempted the rescue himself and fallen through the ice, the end result could have been tragic. At the very least, it would have delayed the rescue of the dog because our priority would have been to rescue the owner."

"This is the season for thin ice and animal rescue. We urge parents to talk with their children about ice safety and to immediately activate the 911 emergency system if a pet or a loved one falls through the ice."

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