The firefighters at FDNY Rescue 1 were in Central Park training for cold water rescues - all suited up - when they spotted a man in the middle of the lake, They yelled at him to get off the ice because it was so thin, But no sooner did they shout their warnings - the guy broke through the ice and disappeared.
The crew, no strangers to responding to calls like this. But this was the first time the call came to them. They tethered together and crawled across the lake to the man. The fact that they saw him go down, says Fire Lt, Billy Ryan, made the rescue possible because - all-too-often - they spend precious minutes trying to locate such a victim.
Also, the fact that they didn't have to drive through crowded midtown Manhattan traffic from their fire house on W. 43rd Street to get to the scene likely, Ryan says, prevented the man from dying in the frigid waters.
He was rushed to Lenox Hill Hospital where he's expected to recover.