On Wednesday at 7:19 a.m., Reno Fire Department’s Engine No. 2 was dispatched to a call of a dog trapped in the water at Paradise Pond, 2745 Elementary Drive. The dog was in distress, surrounded by ice, and unable to reach the shore. The owners of the dog were nowhere to be found.
“Although rescuing an animal or pet is important, people should not put themselves at risk by going on the ice or into freezing waters,” Battalion Chief Jeff Frank said. “Each of our engines is equipped with special protective gear and our firefighters are trained to safely handle rescues.”
After firefighters rescued the dog, they warmed it with a blanket. Washoe County Animal Control met with firefighters at the fire station so the lost dog could be turned over to them. Animal control officers scanned the dog and found that it had a microchip implant that could identify the owner.
Residents are reminded to keep close track of children and pets that may venture onto ice-covered freezing water that could subject them to hypothermia and possible death. Even short term exposures in freezing waters can result in hypothermia which can incapacitate victims, overcome their swimming skills and ultimately lead to drowning.
Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature is dramatically lowered, and when skin is wet it transfers warmth away from the body much more efficiently than when it is dry. Hypothermia results in a loss of strength and muscular coordination as well as mental confusion and often erratic behavior.
The Reno Fire Department says the best way to avoid potential death in an ice-related incident is to stay off of any ice formations. The uncertain thickness and conditions under ice that has formed may not support the weight of even a relatively lightweight person who could suddenly break through the ice and into freezing waters. These ice conditions can remain even into the spring season.