1. #1
    tc1chief
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb How do you handle Ice rescues?

    How does your department handle ice rescues. With the recent low temperatures the public lakes and rivers have been frozen over since the middle of December. Earlier this week we had an incident where a dog (luckily not a human)had fallen through the ice and the owners called 911. Luckily the dog had gotton out before we arrived on scene. The Ice thickness in our area this year has not got over 8 inches, we are not as fortunate at the northern states. If you have any sugestions it would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    WTFD730
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    My department is located near the shores of Lake Erie and has a large river that runs within our district. At this time of year we get our fair share of ice rescue emergencies. The US Coast Guard Station in Toledo,Ohio does not perform ice rescues anymore and usually calls upon us to help them with any ice rescues. Our department uses two hovercrafts to perform ice rescues, these units float across the ice to the scene of emergencies. I feel these units are the safest way to handle ice rescue emergencies, our personal never have to step out onto the ice if they dont have to. If the ice were to break around the craft when it stopped it would then just float like a boat.
    Our hovercrafts work very well during ice rescue emergencies.
    Note: Coming very soon you can see pictures of our hovercrats in action when our new website is complete at www.wtfd.net


    ------------------
    Ronald Kay
    Assistant Chief
    Washington Twp. FD
    Toledo,Ohio

  3. #3
    Adze
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    We have an ice-rescue sled and a bunch of cold water suits. We recently replaced our boat and the new one can no longer go on ice (dumb thinking by our officers).

  4. #4
    martinj
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    Our fire district has a river and many ponds. We began using RescueAlive sleds and cold water imersion suits. We put a line on the rescuer and one on the sled. The rescuer has a paddle with a small metal hook on it that allows him to go from water to ice and vice versa. The sled will support up to 650 lbs. Once the rescuer has secured the victim to the sled via a special sling, the on-shore team pulls the sled, with both the rescuer and the victim on it, back to shore. We also have another rescuer standing by with an older sled, which is a surfboard with runners. This old unit works well and can sometimes out preform the manufactured sled. We utilize reels with 500 ft. of floating rope. We practice rescuing victims and the rescuer on a yearly basis to maintain the skills required.

  5. #5
    Hosekey21
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    We only do land based Ice and Water Rescues with the Kellhobby Retriever. It is quick to set up and adaptable for different situations. Here is the link to their website. Try different products to see what is best for your department. kellhobby.com

    ------------------
    Just one man's view from the flames.

  6. #6
    Halligan84
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    We did our initial training with Lifeguard Systems and purchased our equipment through Marsars. We use Stearns ice rescue suits for "entry" personnel with an ice rescue shuttle (sled). Our shore personnel wear Stearns work suits (insulated PFD coverall). We have an Avon inflatable rescue boat stored on the rescue for open water operations.

  7. #7
    FFCode3EMT
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    All firefighters on my combination are trained in ice rescue. In addition we have seveal Ice Rescue Specialists. We use the Rescue Alive sled for ice rescue. Our Heavy Rescue truck is loaded with the sled along with two career firefighters suiting up in cold suits enrout to the call. The fourth career member brings the medic unit. The volunteer members respond in the Engine (for alternative rescue methods and helicopter LZ) and the command truck.

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    **The preceding comments in no way represent the views of my department, its members, or associations that it may belong to.**

  8. #8
    Aerial 131
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    Talking

    My fire district has a good stretch of the Columbia River (or at least one side of it) several stretchs of canals and small local private ponds. We request when needed the Columbia Basin Dive Rescue Team. They train for this stuff far more than any of us ever have and we call them as part of the first run. All of this is under mutual air contract.

    Zimm

  9. #9
    FiRsqDvr45
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    After this months 2nd part of a two part training our incidents should go like this.


    1. Responders don a minimum of a PFD and gloves (or a full floataion jacket or work suit if available.

    2.Responders execute a quick size up including marking sites from shore of the victims locations in the event they sumberge, rapid interview with witness to assertain #, location, conditon of victims and what happened.

    3.Begin "Throw" and "Reach" procedures to get throw bags and some form of floatation assistance to the victim(s).

    4.Call for assistance including manpower, additional equipment, and the crucial dive team from the well-trained Somersworth-Berwick Dive team.

    5.As personnel and equipment allow form rescue teams and backup's and if the "Throw" and "reach" methods fail to work commence "Go" techniques.

    We are fortunate to have a pre-made rescource list available to the department of all area water and ice rescources. These include an air boat (swamp type fan boat) for use on floes in our river and bay that may break away, our two boats, dive teams, extra sleds, suits, etc., paramedic buses, and even helicopters with floodlights and FLIR equipment (USCG and NHSP), etc.


    Handling the incident is secondary to good planning and training. As an Ice and Water Rescue Technician I would love to see much more input on this topic and applaude those who have already done so and look forward to swapping info on water and ice rescue. Good luck, be safe!



    ------------------
    FF/EMT Jay Ellingson
    Newington,NH FD
    &
    New England Dragway Safety Team (Sundaaayy!)
    Be Safe!

  10. #10
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    4caster's Avatar
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    We are associated with a local company that assists in law enforcement and fire/ems. They have a hovercraft that is available for use in situations as need be. This will be the first winter with it, and we'll see if it is worth it.
    Just the basic benefits:
    Pushes with air; less chance for cracking
    In case of ice break, it hovers on any surface.
    Floats when off
    Can get several individuals onboard

    I know that there is a little negative to it; i.e. the massive wind it produces and the snow it pushes around. But, I believe that it will help rescuers more in the long run. This is a trial year for it, so if we have any runs with it, I'll let you know how it worked.
    BAClair

  11. #11
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    tbonetrexler's Avatar
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    Cool

    damn 4caster, you must of really dug for this one. thats what, a four year old thread revival

    we dont get much ice around here, at least not the thick stuff

  12. #12
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    Wow, looking at the names on a couple of those replies, that was before the big forum reshuffle. A couple of those "guests" have thousands of posts today. That is old.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4caster
    We are associated with a local company that assists in law enforcement and fire/ems. They have a hovercraft that is available for use in situations as need be. This will be the first winter with it, and we'll see if it is worth it.
    Just the basic benefits:
    Pushes with air; less chance for cracking
    In case of ice break, it hovers on any surface.
    Floats when off
    Can get several individuals onboard

    I know that there is a little negative to it; i.e. the massive wind it produces and the snow it pushes around. But, I believe that it will help rescuers more in the long run. This is a trial year for it, so if we have any runs with it, I'll let you know how it worked.
    How big is this hovercraft?

    As one of our Asst. Chiefs posted above way back when, we have two hovercraft. Both are 12' and can handle a maximum of two including the pilot, although the yellow one could maybe move slowly with 3 onboard. (Pics are towards the bottom of this page: www.wtfd.net/rigs.html )

    We usually deploy one as the designated rescue craft and the other stands by for rapid intervention.

    As far as your negatives, they're really not that big of a deal. The main area to stay away from is the rear (similar to exhaust from a jet engine) but even at full throttle it's not enough to knock you over. The main danger is flying rocks and debris.

    Some operational hints: DO NOT let the craft settle onto it's hull while making a turn on ice, it tips over very easily when it hits a rough spot or snow drift on the ice. Found that one out the hard way while riding with a new operator...luckily we were wearing helmets. Another thing to watch for is high winds...they go downwind just fine but it is a huge struggle to move upwind.

    We have really found ours to be the best way to do ice rescues. Good luck and I hope it works well for you guys too.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  14. #14
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    Just consider this a "bump" thread!!!
    I was searching for a different subject and found this, so I'd thought I would bring it back, being so close to winter.
    The hovercraft can seat 4 people, but has some room on the sides that a stretcher would rest securely.
    Here's some shots from an ATV wreck rescue.
    http://www.airfoilaviation.com/helicam/rc3.jpg
    http://www.airfoilaviation.com/helicam/rc2.jpg
    http://www.airfoilaviation.com/helicam/rc1.jpg
    BAClair

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