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St. Louis ( KSDK ) -- St. Louis firefighter Dan Hill was serving his first day as a member of Engine House # 29, and it's a day he won't soon forget.

Shortly before noon, Hill was among those who rushed to the pond on the western edge of Fairground Park, only to find a dog had plunged through the ice and was struggling to stay above water.

A man who'd been walking his own dog says the German shepherd mix got spooked by his pet, and rushed out onto the ice. Firefighters jutted a ladder out over the pond, and twenty minutes later, the dog was safe.

Firefighter Hill was wearing waders, but the water was deep enough that it simply poured into his uniform.

The Humane Society has custody of the dog, and is searching for its rightful owner before considering whether to make it available for adoption.