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Rescuers Learn about Ice Safety

Columbus Township volunteer firefighters and other rescue workers put this weekend's cold weather to good use -- holding ice rescue training.

The training include learning about boats, rigging, chainsaws and included rescue training with live victims, said Lt. Dave Thompson, the public information officer for Columbus Township Fire-Rescue Department. About half of the day was classroom instruction and the other half was in the field. Thompson said.

The classroom instruction included lessons on how to:

  • Determine if ice is “good ice.”
  • Prepare for a possible ice emergency.
  • Perform a surface rescue if someone falls through.
  • Determine last known location if you can’t get to the victim.
  • Prepare for and assist arriving emergency response personnel
  • Understand hypothermia prevention and self survival in the water.

Thompson said the firefighters want to warn people to keep in mind that there is no such thing as safe ice, only safer ice. Thompson said that there should be at least four inches of clear ice before anyone heads out onto a pond or lake. And residents should recognize that wind, vegetation, wildlife, and water currents can change the integrity of the ice.

He also stressed that if a witness seems somebody fall through the ice, they should not go onto the ice themselves, putting them at risk also. He said witnesses should call 911 for help and then throw a rope or a tree limb to assist the victim.

Also taking part in the training Saturday were Columbus Regional Hospital ambulance crews, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Columbus Fire Department and Indiana State Police.

Last Updated: Monday, March 03, 2014 10:03:18 AM

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