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February 3, 2015 • Headlines

Jeni Schnebelt, far right, is co-chairing the event again this year. Pictured above are participants watching the balloon release as part of the opening ceremonies. For the complete story and photos from a previous event, pick up a copy of the Osgood Journal at your local newsstand.
Jon Phillips suits up and tries to corral the agitated dog. Fortunately, the dog never fell in, nor did the firefighters. The dog sensed thinning ice and kept retreating and pacing making the rescue difficult. For more photos, pick up a copy of the Osgood Journal at your local newsstand.
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Dog rescue at quarry
Rescue shows off Osgood fire dept.’s training, equipment

Mary Mattingly

Osgood Fire Department responded to a call Tuesday, Jan. 27 for an ice rescue of a dog. Dispatch reported the dog was at the frozen quarry pond behind the water plant and unable to find its way onto land. Coincidentally, it was just two days prior that several members of the fire department trained for an ice rescue. It’s not common to get an ice rescue call, according to Fire Chief Shawn Negangard, but they are prepared and ready if need be. That was the case Tuesday.

His son Kyle, an Osgood volunteer firefighter and Jon Phillips traded in fire coats for a red one-piece insulated neoprene suit around 12:30 p.m. when they got the call. They brought the fire department’s rescue slider boat by trailer (they have two) along with life safety ropes and more suits. Chris Hankins and Shawn Negangard were the rope pullers, while Kyle ventured onto the ice, with the boat tethered by a rope. Fortunately, the black dog had not fallen through the ice. There were thinning areas near the north side where the water came through and the dog kept pacing back and forth, obviously seeing and sensing this.

Osgood Fire Department dog rescue


The dog was just out of grasp for the firefighters. Firefighters had a harness and were tethered with a rope in case they fell in. They also couldn’t run fast because of the ice.

The firefighters learned the dog had been on the lake since 10 a.m. but Kyle Negangard couldn’t get the dog to come near him. The firefighter did not break into a full jog so as to not put much pressure on the iced water, but he called to the dog and chased him as much as he could without slipping on the ice. A second person, Jon Phillips, who was already suited up, went on the ice to assist Kyle, and after 30 minutes, Bowling, who is with the Napoleon Fire Dept., at Shawn’s suggestion, suited up to help corral the dog; however, he didn’t have to venture far because within minutes of stepping on the ice, the dog safely escaped and ran up the quarry embankment.

It all ended well. Negangard said the lake was “iffy” Tuesday and he was glad the firefighters were safe and didn’t fall in; however, they were planning for the worst had the dog or themselves gone in. The special rescue equipment came through several grants over the years. Shawn Negangard, who has been with the department since 1979, was part of the original Task Unit, as they named themselves, to do special skilled rescues and auto extrication in a timely manner. Fire departments didn’t do it back then. The Task Unit was set up many years ago he said. Several firefighters from throughout the county were part of the unit. The unit was eventually shut down, the equipment donated to various fire departments in the county and that’s when the fire department took over special rescues, Negangard said.

He recalls his first ice rescue was several years ago, when he and Wayne Peace used an old jon boat on the same quarry. They didn’t have near the training or equipment as they do now. “We have come a huge way!” Negangard commented. ” It’s a safety factor for us,” he added. “If you go through the water, it’s serious business.”

Osgood has two slider boats and 10 suits, which insulate the wearer in freezing temperatures. Several firefighters jumped in the water last Sunday to practice skills. “We actually want bad ice to train on,” Negangard said.They were there from 9 a.m. to noon. “No one ever complained of being too cold…only if they were on top of the ice and that’s when they said they were too hot! I felt great about the whole training,” he said. They even had a guy who didn’t know how to swim participate. (The suit is buoyant and will keep you afloat.) That’s the kind of attitude they need in volunteers, he added. Negangard also put a plug in for more volunteer firefighters. They have 23 firefighters, but it seems many young people don’t have the time for training and certification these days. He’d like to order ice cleats which would have helped Tuesday afternoon.

The other fire departments in the county know to call Osgood should the need arise for an ice rescue. Friendship and Morris fire departments also have equipment.

Frozen ice advice...
White ice or snow ice is considered half as strong as clear ice. Before you take part in any activity check the ice thickness. You can do this by drilling a hole in the ice and measuring the thickness with a tape measure. Children should always be accompanied by an adult.

• 2” or less STAY OFF 
• 4” Ice fishing , ice skating OK
• 5” Snowmobile and or ATV OK

Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Relay for Life moves to Jac-Cen-Del track (front page)
• Zumbathon event for Safe Passage (page 3)
• Business: Agriculture Commodities (page 8)
• On The Record From the Ripley County Courthouse (page 11)
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