Michigan State Police officer Kammeron Bennetts was the first responder on the scene after a 65-year-old man was reported to have fallen through some thin ice on a local lake in Grand Traverse County, Michigan. Officer Bennetts worked as quickly as he could to get the man out, but he wasn’t able to get close enough to do much good.
Officer Bennetts edged out onto the ice as far as he could safely do so and threw an emergency rescue disk toward the man, but it came to a rest 5-10 feet away from him each time. It was the only tool the officer really had in his arsenal, and it wasn’t doing the trick.
Knowing he was running out of time, Officer Bennetts stopped to think for a second about other ways he could reach the man. That’s when he noticed the man’s dog nearby and thought of a new plan. Since the dog weighed a good deal less than he did, he thought he could send her to fetch her owner…if he could get her to listen to him.
He yelled to the man to ask if the dog was friendly and would obey simple commands. When the man replied in the affirmative, the officer asked her name and got the reply “Ruby.”
He called the dog, and she came to him right away, offering a new ray of hope in what was starting to seem like a hopeless situation. He attached the rope to her collar, and the man called her over. She stumbled at first over the awkward shape of the disk attached to her neck, but then she took off running as fast as she could go toward the ice.
Officer Bennetts reports that he talked to the man afterward, and he said that the dog basically jumped right on top of him when she got there, offering up the disc as close to him as she could get it. He grabbed on and followed the officer’s directions to a tee, and soon he was out of the hole and sliding across the ice to safety.
All told, the man was trapped in the ice for about 16 minutes. Thanks to a good police officer and a brave dog, however, that was not the last of his time on this earth. Great job, Officer Bennetts and Ruby!
Officer Bennetts and Ruby are true heroes for their presence of mind and readiness to help in a scary situation. Check out the video below to see their heroism in action!