MINDEN -- A 74-year-old man testing pond ice for his grandchildren fell through Monday afternoon, but was quickly rescued by family members, South Minden Fire Chief Mike Smith said.
Responding firefighters helped the man warm up, but he did not require further treatment, Smith said.
The South Minden Volunteer Fire Department was contacted at 1:26 p.m. Monday, alerted via a 911 call that a male resident at Goulds Road required an ice rescue at a small pond on private property.
Smith immediately contacted the Fort Plain Volunteer Fire Department to request assistance and use of their airboat, as it would be unsafe to send department members out onto the unstable ice.
"But, we never had to use it," said Smith of the airboat, as the man had been pulled from the water — rescued by his wife and daughter — prior to the arrival of first responders.
“We helped him change his clothes and warmed him up with blankets and he was able to sign off,” Smith said, explaining that the resident declined further medical assistance.
The man had fallen through the ice when "he was checking on it to see if it was strong enough for his grandkids to play on," Smith said.
He fell through about 10 to 12 feet out, in an area where the water was between 7 and 8 feet deep. His family members extended a wooden pallet to him, which he was able to latch onto, and pulled him to safety.
"He was in the water for four or five minutes," Smith said.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department was also on scene Monday, with the LifeNet rescue helicopter, out of Glen, being put on standby.
“This is only the second one [ice rescue] in the 50-plus years since the South Minden Fire Department’s been active,” said Smith, noting that the woman requiring rescue during the first incident had perished by the time first responders could reach her.