Firefighters plea to stay safe around open water following recent incident involving dog
We are urging people across Staffordshire to be vigilant around frozen water following a recent incident where a dog sadly died.
Yesterday morning (16 January), we received a report of a dog in distress at Hanley Park in Stoke-on-Trent. We sent a crew from Hanley and a water rescue unit from Newcastle to the scene.
The dog, which was a puppy, was believed to be chasing geese after it managed to escape from its harness. The dog ventured onto the lake, sadly breaking through a thin layer of ice.
Two firefighters entered the water using dry suits and pulled the dog out of the lake within minutes of arriving.
Sadly, despite crews giving oxygen therapy to the dog, it later died.
Group Manager James Green, who went to the scene, is urging pet owners and residents to take extra care near frozen water as temperatures continue to fall below freezing.
He said: “This tragic and unfortunate case can happen to anyone and we want to make sure people take extra steps to limit the chances of getting into difficulty with frozen water. We strongly recommend that dogs are walked on a lead at all times during the cold weather and people take alternative routes to avoid going near open water.
“If your dog is in difficulty and is unable to get out of frozen water, call us immediately and never attempt a rescue yourself. During freezing conditions, it can quickly become impossible to swim without specialist equipment and those entering the water often require rescue themselves.
“Despite the sad outcome in this case, we’d like to commend the dog’s owner who did everything possible by calling 999 and making themselves visible to the attending crews as quickly as possible.
“Frozen water can be unforgiving and we are urging people to take extra precaution. Please consider alternate routes and make sure to keep a safe distance away from frozen water at all times.”
To read more specific advise on how you can stay safe around frozen water, visit: Frozen waters (staffordshirefire.gov.uk)
Earlier this month, we relaunched our Be Warm Be Safe campaign to help people stay warm safely this winter, which typically sees us attend more accidental fires and water rescues than normal.
For vital information on how you can stay safe and limit the risks, visit: Residents urged to Be Warm, Be Safe this winter (staffordshirefire.gov.uk)