Chestermere Fire Services crews were certified in aquatic rescue techniques in the summer of 2015 and ice rescue training in February 2016. Training included classroom and in water scenarios and a variety of rescue techniques including how to property use throw ropes, rescue pulls, ice rescue sleds and entering the water to assist unresponsive individuals.
Learn more by watching the video below:
Fire on Ice Story
This story was published in the March 2015 edition of the Chestermere Connection. Check out the full issue here.
Jumping into a lake can provide relief on a hot summer day, but there are very few people who would want to enter the frigid waters in the middle of winter.
That is what members of Chestermere Fire Services (CFS) and the Chestermere Community Peace Officers were doing for three weekends in February as they trained to deliver ice water rescue services to residents and visitors in Chestermere. As CFS crews were certified in aquatic rescue techniques this past summer, ice rescue training was the final step to offer all water rescue services in Chestermere.
“In the winter, there is always a safety concern whenever the public is on iced over surfaces,” said Acting Fire Chief of CFS, Brian Pomrenke. “In order to ensure that we can be there to respond if something goes wrong, CFS has partnered with Waterman 5 and Dive Rescue International to train our staff on both water and ice rescue techniques.”
Training included classroom and in-water scenarios, which covered a variety of rescue techniques including how to properly use throw ropes, rescue pulls, ice rescue sleds and enter the water to help unresponsive individuals.
“We hope that we never have to use this service,” said Senior Firefighter Rob Barchard, one of the certified trainers, “but now that our staff have been trained, we will be there for you if you need us during an aquatic emergency, any time of the year.”
Tips for Ice Safety
CFS wants residents to know that ‘no ice is safe ice’, but recognizes that many enjoy recreation activities on frozen bodies of water in the winter. If you do plan to go out, never go alone and always check the ice thickness measurements, which are available by visiting this webpage.
If you do fall through the ice on a body of water, the team at CFS has some tips:
- Stay calm and call for help.
- Clear away loose ice and debris from where you fell in.
- Put your elbows and wrists onto a solid piece of the main ice surface.
- Kick as hard as you can and pull yourself up. As soon as you are able, roll away from the area as it will be very unstable.
- Get inside and dry off to prevent hypothermia.
- Seek medical attention.
What You Need to Know:
If you plan to be on the water while training is happening, please give the crews room to work and practice.
If you witness an emergency situation that is not part of the training, please call 9-1-1.
If you have any questions, please call the Fire Hall at 403-272-9878.