South Yorkshire operator is praised for calm words

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A FIRE service control room operator has been praised for his efforts persuading a pet owner from diving into a swollen South Yorkshire river to rescue her dog.

The woman called the service on Saturday, shortly after 10am, to report her labrador trapped in the River Dearne, off Doncaster Road, Darfield.

A South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue spokesman said: “The lady owner who made the 999 call was clearly in a distressed state and was considering jumping in to rescue the dog herself.

“Control and red watch worked to resolve the situation, with control operator Neil Ducker calmly persuading the owner not to put herself at drowning risk while his red watch colleagues mobilised to the scene.

“The crew from Dearne was quickly on the scene, rescuing the animal from a river swollen by Friday’s rainfall, and reuniting it with its owner.”

Station Manager Jon Torn, who witnessed the drama from the control room, said: “While this may seem an everyday part of the job for control staff, I was there to see how well Neil calmed her down, and how the other members of the control room went about their business.

“I believe they stopped her from attempting to rescue the dog herself, which could have meant we ended up with a more serious incident, and they should be praised for their actions.”