EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 12, 2013

Firefighters rescue dog that fell through ice on small pond in North Andover

NORTH ANDOVER —Lola is one lucky Lab, thanks to firefighters Jeffrey Judge and Christopher Jenkins.

Lola, who appears to be at least part black Labrador retriever, according to fire Lt. Graham Rowe, was out for a walk late yesterday morning when she wandered onto the ice of a small pond near Berry Street and Route 114. Suddenly, she fell through the ice.

Her owners, Carrie Bianchi and Gabriel Lamphere, called 911 at 12:04 p.m. and Engine 2, Ladder 1 and an ambulance responded from Station 2 on Salem Street. When firefighters arrived, only the front of Lola was visible, as she clung desperately to the ice, Rowe said.

Judge and Jenkins, dressed in ice rescue suits, went into action. Judge waded into the water and headed out toward Lola, about 20 feet away, while Jenkins stayed close to the shore, said Rowe, who directed the operation. Judge carried a long pole equipped with a harness, into which he placed the dog, Rowe explained.

The two firefighters then pulled Lola out of the frigid water. The water was up as high as Judge and Jenkins’ chests, Rowe said.

“You could tell it (Lola) wanted out,” Rowe said, noting that sometimes animals that are being rescued will struggle against those helping them.

“It was a quick and efficient rescue,” Rowe said.

Lola was returned to her owners and seems to have weathered her ordeal quite well.

“Thank you so much! She’s doing fine after a nice warm shower!” Lamphere and Bianchi wrote in an email to the Fire Department.

Only a few minutes after the Fire Department received the call about Lola’s plight, another team of firefighters from Station 1 on Main Street, led by Lt. John Weir, put a boat into the Merrimack River and backed up their colleagues from Lawrence, who were talking a man out of jumping from the Duck Bridge.

“It’s rare to get two water calls within a few minutes of each other,” Rowe said.

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