East Berne firefighter injured during dog rescue
EAST BERNE – A successful cold water rescue has left its mark on a firefighter’s face.
Lieutenant Mark Singletary with East Berne Volunteer Fire Company has dozens of stitches from a dog bite that he got while he saved the dog’s life last week.
“We had to get in through pretty heavy snow for about a quarter mile until we reached the scene,” he said. “We found a dog through the ice about 20 feet out. The owners were on shore. They were frantic.”
The team put on their dry suits. Singletary was tethered. When the ice gave way, he also went into the water, but he managed to get the Goldendoodle out to safety.
At some point, the dog bit him.
“It was fairly nervous at that time,” he said. “It had gone from calm once the ice started shifting, it got nervous, understandably. At some point it had, I don’t even remember it, it had reached around and got me on the face.”
He says the family did the right thing calling for help, and not going onto the ice themselves.
“I spoke with the dog’s owners, they were super concerned about my health and my injury, and also very grateful that their family pet is back home.”
He faced another ordeal after the rescue, arriving at Albany Medical Center shortly before it went into its Code Silver lockdown, with an armed man barricaded inside a hospital room.
Despite his serious facial injuries, Singletary says he would go out there and do it again.
“If they decided to go into the water after the dog, that could have been a much more tragic situation, so I would do the same, yes.”
The lieutenant would like to thank the ambulance company and the staff at Albany Medical Center for taking care of him when they were going through a difficult time.
“We had a great team that day,” said Singletary. “I would urge anyone who wants to be a part of such a team to go talk to their local fire or ambulance company.”