Dive Team Was on the Way; Officer Decided Not to Wait

Sergeant without gear pulls boy from frozen pond
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2017 9:50 AM CST
The site of the rescue.   (Washington County Sheriff's Office (Utah))

(Newser) – It was nearly a Christmas Day tragedy, but the first responding officer had other ideas. The drama began when an 8-year-old boy chased a dog onto a frozen pond in New Harmony, Utah, and fell through the ice about 5pm, reports KUTV. Other kids saw what happened and ran to alert adults, and police were soon on the way. Sgt. Aaron Thompson of the Washington County Sheriff's Office arrived first, and though he had no special gear and a dive team was en route, he "made the personal decision" not to wait, according to a news release cited by Fox 13. Thompson removed his own police gear, entered the pond, and began punching a 25-foot-long path through the ice.

The sergeant actually fell through the ice himself after about 10 feet but was able to reach the boy. "Thompson was able to locate the victim under the ice and bring him back to shore where awaiting medical personnel began treating him," said a sheriff's office spokesman, per St. George News. The unidentified boy was airlifted to the hospital, and details about his condition were not known Tuesday morning. He did, however, have vital signs upon being rescued. Thompson was treated for hypothermia along with cuts on his arms and hands from punching through the ice. The dog wasn't hurt. (Read more rescue stories.)

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