(KSDK) - It was a hectic scene late New Year's morning at Fairground Park. Around 11:30, a man was walking his dog in the park when this German Shepard mix popped up, got spooked, and ran onto the ice. Then the ice broke and he fell through.
"He was scared. I'm pretty sure he wanted to get out of the water," says St. Louis Firefighter Dan Hill.
This was Hill's first day with Fire Station 29, and he was the lucky one chosen to go get the dog.
"I believe city parks, the water is roughly four feet deep. So they decided to send the tall guy...and that was me."
He strapped on his waders, but the water was a little higher than he expected.
"They came up to lower chest. The water came up a little higher. I got a little wet but it was worth it to save the dog," Hill says.
He tells us the dog helped him out once he got close.
"He was actually kind of coming towards me. I think he knew what I was out there to do. And I think he was happy to see me. I just threw him in the little basket that we had and they pulled him in."
He says the squad normally does training for water rescue, but usually for humans.
"This is the last thing I expected."
The dog was treated with oxygen and an IV. He was shivering, but at least he's alive. It was released to the humane society. We're told it had a collar, but nothing that indicated who the owner is. They're holding off on putting the dog up for adoption to try to find the owner.
KSDK -- Gannett