June 18, 2018
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Mercer woman rushed to hospital after falling through ice trying to save dog

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

MERCER, Maine — A local woman was listed in good condition in a Skowhegan hospital Tuesday after falling through the ice trying to rescue a dog.

Norridgewock, Oakland and Smithfield fire departments responded to an emergency call of a dog on the ice on North Pond at 9:57 a.m. When the Norridgewock crew arrived, they saw a woman had attempted to rescue a dog, but fell into the water, said Lt. Jeff Jones of the Norridgewock Fire Department.

Tracy Scott, who lives near the area where she fell through the ice, was rushed by ambulance to Redington-Fairview General Hospital, said Jones.

“She was treated in the emergency room and is in good condition,” said a hospital spokeswoman Tuesday afternoon.

Jones said Scott had used a canoe to try to get to the dog.

“She was skateboarding the canoe on the ice — one foot in the canoe and one on the ice,” said Jones. “She ended up breaking the ice with the canoe.”

Scott went into the water, but Jones said the Norridgewock Fire Department didn’t have the equipment necessary to get her out.

“She went straight into the water. She climbed out and we had her lay on her stomach on the ice,” said Jones. “She was probably 250 feet off shore. We couldn’t risk ourselves to get her.”

The Oakland Fire Department did have the right tools for the job.

“We have the ice sled and all the ropes and suits [to do that sort of rescue],” said Oakland Assistant Chief Vaughn Farnham.

Scott spent 25 to 30 minutes on the ice and in the water before being rescued, said Norridgewock Assistant Chief Danny Lanctot.

“She was very cold and shivering out of control,” said Lanctot. “She knew that we were talking to her and everything. She was conscious.”

“She wasn’t doing too good when they got her out,” Farnham said. “They wrapped her up and put her right in the ambulance and they were gone.”

Farnham said the small breed dog died.

It was the second ice rescue in about two weeks involving a dog on the ice for the Oakland Fire Department, he said.

“That one turned out good for the dog,” said Farnham.

Jones warned people to call 911 if a dog wanders onto thin ice.

“Don’t go after your damn dog. It’s not worth it,” said Jones. “I love my dog, but I wouldn’t expect someone to die for my dog.”

Farnham echoed his firefighter brethren.

“Stay off the ice. Let the experts handle it,” said Oakland’s assistant chief. “Don’t try to save [the dog], because this is what’s going to happen. You’re going to go through the ice. We have the proper equipment and training.”

Lanctot said he was proud of the crews who worked together to save Scott from the freezing water.

“Smithfield and Oakland did a great job for us and we really appreciate their help,” he said.

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