Fire and Ice

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Sault Ste. Marie Firefighters participate in water rescue training February 4, 2021. (Dan Gray/Saultonline.com)

This afternoon around 2 p.m. I had the privilege to join Sault Fire Services while they did some water rescue training at the Pine Street Marina.

The reason for the training was three-fold. To stay competent in this part of the service they provide to citizens, to help get a few members ready for some upcoming tests, and to introduce newer firefighters to the training.

Firefighters were dropped into the water and then retrieved in simulated rescue situations, they also learned to self-rescue from this dangerous circumstance.

I was able to hear various instructions given to the firefighters about how to safely remove someone from this thankfully rare but life-threatening scenario.

If you ever fall through the ice, the Canadian Red Cross has a list of steps to follow to help you get yourself out.

– Call out for help
– Resist the urge to climb back where you fell in – the ice is weak there
– Use the air trapped in your clothing to get into a floating position on your stomach
– Reach forward onto the broken ice without pushing down – kick your legs and push your torso onto the ice flat
– Once you are back on the ice, crawl on your stomach or roll away from the open area with your arms and legs spread out as far as possible to evenly distribute your weight. Do not stand up!
– Look for shore and make sure you are heading in the right direction.

If the above steps fail, you can count on Sault Fire Services to assist you as soon as they get on scene.