Agencies Conduct Winter Ice Rescue Training
Breaking through the ice can be a scary and serious situation that is why for 16 years the Winter Ice Rescue Training Exercise has been held to keep local agencies brushed up on their skills. Since 2008, courses for cold-water technician certification have also been offered.
“This year we have approximately 40-50. Twenty-two of those folks are being certified for the first time and a lot of the people that come back are doing a re-certification which is every two years for the training,” said Cass Lake County Sheriff Tom Burch.
The training was put on by the Cass Lake Sheriff’s Office and Cass Lake Fire Department. There was a cold-water dive team that conducted an emergency simulation, a canine demonstration and a self-rescue mission.
The training helps the departments be prepared for any emergencies on the ice for example, if they have to recover a body. The first part was trying to get yourself out of the water without using ice picks. Then it was time to try to rescue someone stuck in the water.
Each department had their own equipment including cold-water rescue suits. These rubber suits help keep you warm and keep water from coming in. Lake of the Woods County also had their airboat on display. It helps when trying to rescue drowning victims.
“Had a few in the past year that we already had to use our air boat. We only had it a couple years and we used it several times already,” said Deputy Brad Abbey, Lake of the Woods County Sheriff’s Office.
The skills learned will be applied once participants get back to their departments.
“We’ll take this back and do some training right away on the ice and get everybody in our suits. It’s a good learning thing and everybody can, everybody should know how to do it,” said Carlie Bray, Hackensack Area Fire Department.