SUNRIVER, Ore. - Keeping kids or pets off the often-thin ice can be tricky at times. But a deer slipping, sliding and stuck in the middle of a Sunriver golf course water hazard on a cold Friday morning gave the resort community's firefighters a chance to put a new piece of gear to real-life use.
"I was ready to go -- I was excited," firefighter J.J. Johnston said after the ice rescue, which began with a call from police around 10:30 a.m., reporting a deer was stuck on the slick ice of the pond off the No. 9 green at the Woodlands Golf Course.
With support from others on duty, Johnston got in the department's new, grant-funded ice rescue sled and maneuvered out to the deer, which found itself unable to get on its feet.
So Johnston gently nudged and slid the deer toward the shore -- and had to give it an extra nudge when it didn't bound onto land.
That did the trick, to the cheers of those watching.
"I think he was a little tired, or sore," Johnston said.
Some young people apparently had tried to go on the ice and help the deer off it, to no avail.
"It was indicated to us some kids had tried to scoot toward" the deer, Johnston said, but police made sure they got back to shore instead and let the firefighters take over.
"We've been training a little with the ice rescue stuff," he added. "It's great to be able to put it to use."