Longwood first responders describe saving man, 2 dogs from retention pond

Officers, first responders to be honored at ceremony Monday

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Officers Bryce Snyder and Sergeant Kristopher Burnham got a call about a crash on Tuesday morning after a driver ended up inside a retention pond along State Road 434 and Rangeline Road.

The two said they quickly jumped into the water while paramedics were on the way.

“So, I pulled off my belt and ran into the water with that so I can help the fire department get to the guy quicker,” Snyder explained.

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Snyder said the driver and his two small dogs were trapped inside and he used a seatbelt cutter to try and free him.

“Fortunately, the dogs were a little scared themselves wondering what was going on so I just reached in and grabbed them and carried them to the shore as best as I could,” he said.

Longwood fire Lt. Casey Minard told News 6 it took about three minutes to get the driver out through the window and while those three minutes may seem short, it felt longer than that.

“The driver’s side window was halfway open we were able to try and communicate with him, he was conscious and moaning but not responding to any of our commands,” Minard said.

The driver and his dogs were able to make it out OK. Longwood police said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

“We do what we do to save lives and protect property,” Minard said.

The officers and first responders will be honored for their bravery at Monday’s city commission meeting in Longwood.

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About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!