By Captain Bob Raukar, Prairie Township Fire Protection District
Firefighters Christmas Eve rescued a dog struggling to stay afloat in the icy waters of a lake in Eastern Jackson County.
The dog broke through the ice of a private lake off Timberlake Drive near Greenwood at about noon Tuesday. Neighbors spotted the dog and notified its owners. The Prairie Township Fire Protection District was subsequently alerted.
When emergency personnel arrived, they found several people attempting to get the dog to grab onto a stick tied to a rope. The dog was approximately 30 feet from shore where it had broken through thin ice.
Firefighter/paramedic John Pickard, wearing a buoyant ice rescue suit, crawled across the ice to reach the animal. As he neared the dog, Pickard also broke through the ice but the rescue suit kept him afloat. He was able to grab onto the dog’s collar and they both were pulled back to shore by a safety line tethered to the recue suit.
The dog, described by its owners as a rare hunting breed, was rescued within 10 minutes of PTFPD’s arrival on scene.