A 78-year-old Lake Park man said he likely would have died Thursday morning if a neighbor hadn't reacted so quickly.
Dennis Gildemeister fell through the ice on Silver Lake and spent around 22 minutes in the frigid water, according to the Dickinson County Sheriff's Office. His body temperature plunged as first responders turned on their flashing blue lights and used the center turn lane to circumvent traffic up Highway 71.
Their 911 call came in at approximately 8:24 a.m. that morning, and nine different agencies reported to the scene. Gildemeister said the sound of the sirens gave him an extra burst of hope and kept him from giving up entirely. Three specially-trained members of the Lake Park Fire Department worked their way across the ice toward Gildemeister.