REXTON, N.B. -- Volunteer firefighters in New Brunswick performed a dramatic and unusual rescue on the Richibucto River on Thursday – one that had a happy ending.

"Anyone would do it if they were in the same situation," said Rexton volunteer firefighter Warren Goodwin. "Our main goal is life safety. It doesn’t matter what the life is, the life of a human, animals, we weigh risk over reward."

Armed with the right training and equipment, volunteer fire fighters were called to the scene when onlookers in the area spotted what appeared to be a mother deer and her young calf struggling in the icy water.

"We had to make several attempts, because it was quite a ways out in the river," Goodwin said.

The fawn managed to run off when help arrived, but the adult deer was trapped in the ice.

"She was fighting a bit trying to get up," said Mathiu Arsenault, also a volunteer firefighter in Rexton. "You could see her, then she would fall back in. So when we approached we tried to take our time."

After several hours, volunteer firefighters from Richibucto and nearby Rexton managed to pull the weakening and weary animal to shore.

"We patted her down with a blanket and tried to get her warmed up a little bit," said Arsenault. "It didn’t seem injured too much, and after laying down for a couple minutes and giving us a good stare, a little thank you stare, it got up and jumped away."

Proving we all need a leg up every once in a while.