On Friday, March 5, 2021, at approximately 11:00 p.m., Wheaton Police Officers were dispatched to Rathje Park for a person who had fallen through the ice in the park's pond. A passerby heard screams coming from the pond, discovered a woman had fallen through the ice, and called 9-1-1.
The first two responding Wheaton Police Officers found the woman had fallen through the ice while trying to retrieve her dog, and she had been chest deep in the icy water for approximately 5 minutes and was unable to free herself. Officers entered the water and were able to perform a water rescue using a rope to pull the individual out of the water. The Wheaton Fire Department responded and treated the woman on scene.
"We are grateful to the initial caller for being alert and not hesitating to call 9-1-1," said Wheaton Police Chief Bill Murphy. "Any delay could have had grave consequences. Our officers acted swiftly and didn't hesitate to enter the frigid water to assist the victim."
The woman's dog was unharmed, and the two were reunited.
The Wheaton Police and Fire Departments remind the community that warming temperatures make ice-covered ponds and lakes especially dangerous this time of year. If you encounter and emergency like this one, call 9-1-1 immediately for assistance.