Big White Firefighters rescued the dog stuck in the ice Monday afternoon. Photo: Big White Ski Resort

Big White firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

A lost dog was rescued safely earlier this week thanks to quick-acting firefighters at Big White Fire Department.

A hiker had reported the dog to the fire department around 2:30 p.m. on May 20 when they saw a dog stranded on the ice at Lake Paul, next to the Powder Chair.

“He called 911 and we were paged out,” said Big White fire chief James Svendsen. “One of our guys swam out and got the dog. We harnessed him all up and he swam out with a rubber tire inner tube, put the dog in it, and brought him back to the shore.”

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The dog had been reported missing from Candle Creek Kennels for five days.

Svendsen said that after the team had successfully rescued the dog, it took about 20 minutes of heating the dog up for the dog to start showing signs of recovery.

“Time was of the essence. He was very stressed. I would say hypothermia was setting in. (The dog) would have died out there for sure,” he said.

“After he started warming up you could see the life coming back into his eyes.”

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If the rescue had needed more technical assistance, Kelowna Fire Department would have been called in. The Big White team doesn’t often do ice rescues, but two of the firefighters with the Big White team are trained in ice rescues.

Svendsen said that they got lucky this time, and that hikers need to be careful with their dogs on the mountain.

“It’s very dangerous up here right now,” he said. “There’s a lot of water running under the snow and the ice. Dogs off leash, they go running, and there’s lots of wildlife, so if they get distracted, they could easily fall through.”

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The hero crew returned the dog to the owners, who were happy to be reunited with the dog they thought they had lost.

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