Ready for a real rescueThe recent warm temperatures may have left little ice covering the water in Ole Miss Marina, but there was still just enough for Red Wing Fire Department to get in its ice rescue training last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
The recent warm temperatures may have left little ice covering the water in Ole Miss Marina, but there was still just enough for Red Wing Fire Department to get in its ice rescue training last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
“As we were walking out, we were falling through,” Capt. Dan Simonson said, adding that the ice was only about 2 inches thick.
While no ice is ever 100 percent safe, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' general guidelines say new, clear ice should be at least 4 inches thick for foot traffic.
Every Red Wing firefighter went through this most recent training, which began with a two-hour classroom presentation, Simonson said.
“Then we went out and did the practical training on safe techniques,” he said.
For that, each firefighter dons a dry suit. A “victim” is then placed in the water just on the edge of the ice. Two rescuers, each tethered to a person on shore with safety lines, work to get the person out of the water using proper techniques. Simonson said each firefighter took turns rescuing and playing the part of the victim.
There weren’t any new techniques to teach the firefighters during this training, Simonson said, and the firefighters were mainly just brushing up on their skills.
“It’s the type of training you have to do quite often to stay proficient,” Simonson said.
And while the department has not had to do any ice rescues, this year, Simonson stressed the importance of keeping those skills in practice.
“It’s important to do it safely and as quickly as possible to get the person out of the water,” he said.