SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Firefighters rescued a man who got stuck in the mud Sunday morning at Watershops Pond in Springfield.

Firefighters used a portable sled and ropes and placed ladders on the ground to improve their footing. This happened as the pond continues to be drained as part of a major flood control project.

The pond was first drained earlier this month to protect inner-city neighborhoods from future flooding and improve the Watershops dam.

Springfield Fire Department Commissioner B.J. Calvi told 22News that he is asking local residents to avoid the pond.

“Please do not go out there walking in the mud. It took four and a half hours to rescue someone there yesterday,” said Commissioner Calvi. “He was trapped in the mud up to chest level. It took 75 man-hours to free him from the mud.”

No one was injured in the rescue.