FAIRFIELD — Monday morning, firefighters in Fairfield were called to an unusual sight.
Around 10:41 a.m. fire crews were called to a pond on Robert Lane. Delilah, a shepherd mix, had wandered onto the ice-covered pond near her home. Once the owner saw that she was trapped, they called 911 for help.
A small rescue party was formed by the three responding crews to help reach the dog on the ice. As soon as firefighter Rob Petrie stepped onto the ice, it broke underneath his feet. Because the edge of the pond is shallow, he was only submerged about halfway, but out where Delilah was trapped, the depths reached about ten feet.
After some time and the rescue help stick provided by Animal Control Officer Joe Felner, who also was on the scene, Delilah was saved.
Asst. Chief Gomola the incident commander, issued a statement of the event that also turned to a potential warning for other dog owners,
“This is a perfect example of how the system should work," Incident Commander Asst. Chief George Gomola said. "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 safety rescue Delilah. If the owner had attempted the rescue himself and fallen through the ice, the end result could have been tragic. "
Asst. Chief Gomola said this event should serve as a potential warning for other dog owners.
"At the very least, it would have delayed the rescue of the dog because our priority would have been to rescue the owner," Asst. Chief Gomola said. "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 systems if a pet or a loved one falls through the ice."
Delilah was cold and wet but unharmed from the incident.