A Malden man fell through the ice on a Stoneham pond. A German Shepherd played a key role in his rescue.

"These actions helped to save a man’s life this afternoon and are nothing short of heroic.”

Two men helped pull the victim to shore at Quarter Mile Pond on Wednesday.
Two men helped pull the victim to shore at Quarter Mile Pond on Wednesday. –Stoneham Fire Department
Thomas Walsh and his German Shepherd, Diesel. —Stoneham Fire Department

A 22-year-old Malden man was rescued from icy waters in a Stoneham pond Wednesday afternoon after a German Shepherd belonging to a passerby alerted his owner to the situation.

The Stoneham Fire Department was dispatched to Quarter Mile Pond — on the Stoneham and Medford line — around 1:45 p.m. for a report of a man who fell through the ice, officials said in a statement.

First responders, who arrived with two divers and an ice sled, learned at the scene two men who were in the area had used a branch to help pull the man to shore, according to the statement.

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Thomas Walsh, one of the men, was walking nearby with his 5-year-old German Shepherd, Diesel, when the dog heard the man in the pond’s calls for help and alerted Walsh, officials said.

Walsh helped direct the man to crawl on the ice toward the shore until he and another passerby were able to pull him to safety with the branch, fire officials said.

The man pulled from the water, who was not identified, was brought by ambulance to a local hospital. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening, according to the statement.

“It was rewarding,” Walsh told first responders. “It’s just good to know that you can help someone in need.”

Stoneham Fire Chief Matthew Grafton said firefighters “are grateful for this outcome and for Diesel alerting his owner that something was wrong.”

“The two men who helped the patient get to shore did the right thing by calling 911 immediately and using a branch to help pull him in rather than trying to get in the water themselves,” Grafton said in a statement. “These actions helped to save a man’s life this afternoon and are nothing short of heroic.”

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