Dog saved after taking dunk in icy Ranchos pond

A grateful pup greets a firefighter as he's pulled back onto the ice after a rescue in the Ranchos on Tuesday. East Fork Fire Protection District photo

A grateful pup greets a firefighter as he's pulled back onto the ice after a rescue in the Ranchos on Tuesday. East Fork Fire Protection District photo

Rescuers were able to save a dog that jumped into Mitch Park Pond on Tuesday afternoon.

Five East Fork firefighters and an Animal Control Officer responded to the Gardnerville Ranchos pond at around 12:17 p.m.

Fortunately, the fire station is right next to Mitch Park so fire fighters were on scene almost immediately.

East Fork Fire Capt. Paul Azevedo said that when they arrived, they found the dog about 50 feet from the pond’s banks.

“Firefighters donned Ice Rescue suits and entered the pond to attempt a rescue,” Azevedo said. “The dog was brought to shore safely and deemed to be uninjured. Fire personnel were in the water for less than 2 minutes.”

East Fork Fire Protection District would like to remind all those who participate in activities near frozen bodies of water to never follow animals onto the ice, Azevedo said.

There have only been three days so far this month where the low temperature has risen above freezing. But even with the weekend’s single digit temperatures, ice hasn’t been thick enough to safely support a person.

“The ice in our valley is fragile and never safe to walk on despite the lower temperatures. Always call 911 and wait onshore for responders to arrive.”

While anglers ice fish in the high Sierra, in the Valley most residents encounter ice as they walk along sidewalks next to north facing buildings.

Cold temperatures and snow have combined to make walking treacherous in places. Next week marks a year since perennial county volunteer Bob Cook died after he slipped on the ice and hit his head.

Walking safely on ice

Injured Workers' Insurance Fund recommends keeping these important safety tips in mind:

❅ In cold temperatures, approach with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy.

❅ During bad weather, avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels. Instead, wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made of non-slip rubber

or neoprene with grooved soles are best.

❅ Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.

❅ Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a snow- or ice- covered sidewalk or driveway, especially if on a hill, may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.

❅ Point your feet out slightly like a penguin. Spreading your feet out slightly while walking on ice increases your center of gravity.

❅ Bend slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.

❅ Extend your arms out to your sides to maintain balance.

❅ Keep your hands out of your pockets. Hands in your pockets while walking decreases your center of gravity and balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.

❅ Watch where you are stepping and ... GO S-L-O-W-L-Y !!

❅ Take short steps or shuffle for stability.

❅ Wear a heavy, bulky coat that will cushion you if you should fall.

❅ Try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists, or spine. Try to fall on a fleshy part of your body, such as your side.

❅ Try to relax your muscles if you fall. You’ll injure yourself less if

you are relaxed.


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