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Bystanders use throw bag to rescue woman who fell through ice at Freedom Park pond to save dog

Woman and dog are both OK after rescue
Edwards throw bag for ice rescues
Posted at 8:22 AM, Dec 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 10:22:56-05

EDWARDS, Colo. — The Eagle River Fire Protection District (ERFPD) is reminding residents about the dangers of trying to rescue a person or animal that has fallen through the ice after a woman jumped in a pond to save her dog, which had fallen through.

Around 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, crews with the ERFPD responded to a report of a woman and dog who had fallen through ice at Freedom Park in Edwards.

Witnesses told authorities that the dog had fallen into the pond first and the woman fell in after trying to rescue the dog. One of the bystanders called 911 while two others accessed a throw bag stored inside a rescue station. The throw bag is designed for shored-based rescue and allows a person to pull somebody in the water toward the shore without putting themselves in danger too.

The bystanders were able to get the woman out of the water. She was evaluated and warmed up by paramedics. The dog got out of the water itself.

The throw bag station was provided by Eagle County a couple years ago.

The ERFPD said it would like to remind pet owners that dogs don’t always understand the dangers around icy conditions. When walking a dog on or near ice, keep them on a leash. If they do fall through, call 911 and do not go in after them, authorities said.

“You should always assume that if a pet falls through the ice, so will you,” said Tracy LeClair, community risk manager for ERFPD. “If a pet owner attempts a rescue and also falls through the ice, the end result could be tragic for both pet and owner. At the very least, it may delay the rescue of your pet because our priority will be to rescue the owner first.”

ERFPD urged parents and teachers to talk with children about ice safety and the importance of calling 911 instead of going in to attempt a rescue themselves

“Always call 911, and don’t make a bad situation worse by becoming a victim yourself,” LeClair said.