By Tashanea Whitlow

STERLING (CBS) – A dramatic rescue was caught on video of Sterling Firefighter Nick Finizio, and his partner, saving a man and his dog after they fell into the icy pond behind their North Cove Road home Sunday morning.

“This was definitely one for the books. The hardest part for us was traversing the ice, because it was so thin, it just gets in the way and breaks up,” said Firefighter Finizio. “It makes swimming to the victim a lot harder. Makes navigating the sled a lot harder.”

Police say the owner was trying to save his dog, when his canoe tipped over into the icy water about 75 feet from shore. Firefighters in rescue suits rushed in with ropes.
First, rescuing the man and then saving his dog. The entire recovery taking about 15 minutes. Finizio told WBZ, “It felt longer. More like an hour.”

“My partner rescued the victim, taking him inside, while I was still out there rescuing the dog. I pushed the dog up, back onto the ice, so I could fixate myself with the tether more secure to have them pull me back in,” Finizio said.

The man, who refused medical treatment, is already back at work. The dog was treated for hypothermia and was in good spirits Monday.

Finizio, a six-year veteran of the fire department and a dog lover, says the call hit home.

“I have a black lab at home. He’s about five years old and he was all I could think of,” Finizio said.

Despite the daring rescue, Finizio said, “I don’t feel like a hero. It’s what we normally do every single day or what we’re trained to do.”

Tashanea Whitlow

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