Kaysville firefighter describes rescuing dog who fell through pond ice

Feb 7, 2022, 5:35 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:01 pm

KAYSVILLE, Utah — A Kaysville family was grateful to have their dog, Cecilia, at home Sunday night after she fell through the ice at a nearby pond. 

A family member called 911 for help. 

Firefighters said calling them was the right move. 

There are a lot of emotions when your dog goes through the ice. The first instinct may be to rush in and help but that could easily turn into two rescues instead of one. 

A typical Sunday walk near the Kaysville ponds turned into a life-or-death situation when Cecelia ran off and dropped through the ice. 

“While we were headed down there, the dispatch told us that a dog had gotten stuck in the water, so on the way there I was putting on the ice rescue gear,” said firefighter Christopher Montgomery. 

Kaysville ponds where Cece fell though the ice. (KSL TV) Cece (KSL TV) Firefighter Christopher Montgomery in his ice rescue gear. (KSL TV) Cece (KSL TV) Montgomery describes the rescue. (KSL TV). Cece (KSL TV)

He said they arrived there within minutes. “The dog was, oh I don’t know, 20 feet off the shore. Ice was very thin,” Montgomery explained. 

He and another firefighter were in their rescue gear, ready to head in. “One of my partners grabbed a rope bag and just tied me off.” 

With Montgomery secured he was able to walk out and grab Cece pretty easily. 

As expected, he broke straight through the ice as well. 

“Five or ten steps out, picked up the dog in my left arm, not a very big dog, so I picked it up and walked it back to shore,” he said. 

It was an easy rescue but it meant a lot. Cece’s owner said her 80-year-old father was walking the dog at the time. 

“Yeah, he was very relieved. He was pretty worried about her,” Montgomery said. “He was yelling her name, trying to will her back onto the ice and she just wasn’t able to get up on there.” 

Montgomery said it’s a good reminder to keep your pets close when you’re near the water. “It’s not been that cold a winter, so there’s just not that much ice out there.” 

And if the unexpected happens he warned not to rush in there yourself. “If he’d have taken a step off in neck-deep water, he could have been in real trouble, but really wise move to call 911 instead.” 

Cece’s owner said her family is very grateful. It means a lot that Cece is alive and well. 

She didn’t want to be identified out of concern that it might embarrass her father, who she said feels pretty bad about the whole thing. 

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Kaysville firefighter describes rescuing dog who fell through pond ice