West Routt firefighters rescue dog from icy pond in Hayden park
HAYDEN — West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters didn’t battle flames Sunday. Instead, they took on the ice, rescuing a family dog that had fallen into a frozen pond.
At 3:10 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to Dry Creek Park in Hayden, where a dog was unable to escape an icy pond.
Assistant Chief Trevor Guire headed to the scene with his ambulance partner Michelle Spafford and instructed an engine crew to head to the park.
The chocolate lab had fallen into the center of the pond, where the pond’s aeration system left an open space in the ice, and it was unable to climb back onto the ice to get out.
Guire donned an ice rescue suit, a dive suit for cold-water conditions, arrived on scene and slid onto the ice.
“I was able to just slide out there on the ice and lift the dog up onto the ice and didn’t have to go in the water, which was really nice,” he said.
Guire estimated the dog was in the water for about 10 minutes. Air temperatures in Hayden on Sunday reached a high of about 38 degrees.
“We were there pretty quick,” he said.
Guire said the dog’s owners were at the park, and they were thankful to be reunited with the pooch.
“They were happy to have their dog back unharmed,” he said.
They even dropped cookies off at the fire station Monday.
This is the second time this year that West Routt firefighters have rescued a dog from water in unusual circumstances. In May, a dog fell into an 8-foot-deep well in a pump house at the Hayden Cemetery. Fire Chief Dal Leck used a 10-foot attic ladder to tie the dog to a rope and hoist it to safety.
“It’s an anomaly, but after all the other aspects of our job, it’s really nice to make an immediate difference,” said Guire, who was also on scene at the pump house rescue. “It’s not just a feel-good call for everybody else. It’s a feel-good call for us, as well.”
Guire recommends leashing your dog to prevent another rescue from happening — particularly water-loving Labradors.
“Dogs love water,” he said. “Keep them leashed while we still have some open water around.”
A learn-by-doing methodology was on display Friday at the Loudy-Simpson Park pond as Moffat County High School science students learned quickly whether or not they had a future in engineering.