1. #101
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    Default 14 fishermen rescued from Lake Erie


    Lake Erie Rescue

    Sunday, January 25th

    CATWABA ISLAND, OH -- Thank goodness for cell phones. Fourteen people were rescued from Lake Erie Sunday night after high winds cracked the ice they were fishing on and separated them from Catawba Island. No one was hurt.

    Emergency officials received a cell phone call from one of the people stranded on the ice. Catawba Island fire officials found the group on floating ice chunks one to three miles from the island.

    A helicopter and an airboat were used in the rescue. The group was safely back on solid ground about 90 minutes after they made the call for help.

    Posted 9:11 p.m. Sunday, January 25th
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  2. #102
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    Default Airboat assists in rescue of fisherman 3 miles from shore

    14 rescued from Lake Erie near Catawba Island


    Catawba Island, Ohio -- Snow predicted for afternoon had not started to fall by late last night, but Kirk Lombardy, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Cleveland, said the storm would dump 3 to 5 inches by this morning.

    Fourteen people had to be rescued from Lake Erie after high winds cracked the ice they were fishing on, separating it from Catawba Island, authorities said. No one was hurt or fell in the water.

    Randy Riedmaier, assistant fire chief on Catawba Island, said the people were stranded on floating ice chunks 1 to 3 miles from the island.

    ''The wind picked up and shifted, causing the ice to break and they found themselves on the other side of the crack,'' he said.

    A helicopter and an airboat completed the rescue at 7:10 p.m., about 90 minutes after a person stranded on the ice made an emergency call from a cell phone, said Cindy Marshall, petty officer 3rd class with the Coast Guard in Cleveland.
    Last edited by H2oAirRsQ; 01-26-2004 at 06:48 PM.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  3. #103
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    Default County may charge victims for ice-rescues


    Some give ice-rescue fees the cold shoulder

    Times Herald

    If St. Clair County decides to start charging people it rescues from the ice in Anchor Bay, it will be double dipping.

    That's how Ken Potter of Marine City sees it.

    "It's just wrong," he told the St. Clair County Board of Commissioners last week.

    "I already pay taxes, so why should I be charged? What's the next step? Charging people if they get into car accidents? It's very disturbing."

    County Commissioner Thomas Reilly, R-Port Huron Township, sees it differently.

    The rest of the county board isn't sure. The board instructed Corporation Counsel Gary Fletcher to look into the legality of charging.

    No date has been set for Fletcher's report back to the board.

    Reilly said the county should get its money back from those it pulls off the ice.

    "We have an obligation to the rest of the citizens of this county to go out and recover that money," he said.

    Other local governments charge those who are rescued. State law allows townships to charge, Fletcher said.

    He's going to see if there's a similar law for counties.

    Ira Township charges $570 per person, Reilly said.

    That doesn't mean the county should, Brian Hildebrant of East China Township said.

    "I would like to think that being charged once in county taxes should be enough," he said.

    Commissioner Pamela Wall, D-Algonac, agreed.

    "Emergency personnel are there to help us," she said.

    "We pay taxes to have them there. Accidents are accidents. I don't want to get on that slippery slope of charging for services."
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  4. #104
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    Default Rescuers hone ice skills

    Rescuers hone ice skills

    9 area fire departments train at Salisbury Quarry

    January 26, 2004

    Firefighters from area departments practice ice-rescue techniques at Salisbury Quarry.

    A man walked out onto the ice at the Salisbury Quarry yesterday afternoon and began jumping, daring the ice to give way.

    Before long, it did, and the man fell with a splash into the frigid water below.

    There was nothing to worry about, though - it was all part of an ice-rescue training exercise involving nine area fire departments.

    Each of the participants who ventured onto the ice, including the jumper who was trying to reopen one of four holes in the ice, was dressed in a special ice-rescue suit.

    "You’re buoyant, and you don’t get cold," said Teri Hoskin, co-owner and an instructor with Michigan Rescue Concepts. The company led the session in 14-degree weather to certify 40 people in certain ice-rescue skills.

    Yesterday’s training did not involve diving - a technique employed in search efforts for the airplane that crashed Jan. 17 in Lake Erie soon after taking off from Pelee Island, killing all 10 people aboard - but focused instead on surface rescue strategies.

    "Considering all the bodies of water we have ... it’s just a service we need to provide to our citizens," said Lt. Lance Miller of the Monclova Township Fire Department.

    He said the department has been involved in two ice rescues already this winter. There were 18 people from his department present during yesterday’s training.

    People moved around stiffly, almost Gumby-like, in their brightly colored suits as they went through a number of drills. They practiced pulling themselves out of the water onto the ice as well as pulling others out with the help of various tools, including a sled and rope.

    "There are little secrets we try and use," said Justin Lynch, of the Perrysburg Fire Department. "You want to keep the victim calm and collected."

    The outdoor session at the quarry, located off Salisbury Road, followed several hours of classroom training in the morning.

    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  5. #105
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    Default Firefighters Practice Ice Rescue Drills

    Firefighters Practice Ice Rescue Drills

    January 26, 2004

    BOSTON -- Boston's fire department rescue divers practiced something Monday they hope they'll never have to do for real -- rescue someone who's fallen through the ice.

    NewsCenter 5's Jorge Quiroga reported that a walk across thin ice can turn deadly in the matter of a few minutes and experts say using caution can prevent tragedies.

    On Boston's Jamaica Pond Monday, firefighters practiced saving people who had fallen through thin ice.

    "The water temp right now is 30 degrees and if somebody falls through, they quickly loose mobility of their hands. They are not able to get out and back up onto the ice. In a short period of time, (they) start being incoherent and after that they give up," said Boston fire department's dive master Steve Murphy.

    For rescue teams, practice is the difference between success and failure. During rescue drills on Monday, firefighter Wilfredo Pacheco said he had only one thought in mind.

    "Just make sure you latch on to that person -- can't let him go. Once you let go, it's hard to get him back. Make sure they don't put you underwater, neither," said Pacheco.

    At Jamaica Pond, the ice near shore is 10 inches thick, but elsewhere, it can be too thin to walk on.

    Experts say there is some simple advice that can keep people safe on the ice in winter, including never go out on the ice unless the town said it is safe; if somebody falls through, throw a rope, or a branch and call for help; and, never go onto the ice after someone or a pet has fallen through.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  6. #106
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    Default Authorities Practice Ice Rescue in Maryland

    Authorities Practice Ice Rescue in Maryland

    Jan. 29, 2004

    Montgomery County, MA -- As skaters and fisherman enjoy the frozen lakes and rivers, local authorities are making their annual plea to be careful.
    Members of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue are practicing their skills in case people don't listen.

    Robert Katz, a Montgomery County firefighter posing as an ice fisherman, falls through a thin spot on the ice and yells for help. Two rescuers inch their way out to the hole in the ice, while tethered to others on shore. They lay down flat, toss out a flotation ring and bring the victim to shore.

    Firefighter Kevin Bridgett says within five minutes of falling into icy water a person is virtually paralyzed by shock.

    "The time clock is clicking real quick."

    Bridgett says such rescues are best left to those who train for them. He says call 911 instead of creating the need for two rescues.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  7. #107
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    Default anglers wade to shore after truck breaks through lake

    Three anglers wade to shore after truck breaks through lake

    Jan. 29, 2004


    Duluth, MN -- Three Wisconsin men got safely to shore Wednesday afternoon after their truck broke through the ice on Rice Lake.
    The three local college students -- Ryan Bowen, 20, of Clayton; Ryan Peterson, 21, of Amery; and Joshua Creamer, 19, of Waupaca -- were going ice fishing and had taken the truck onto the ice near Rice Lake dam in Rice Lake Township.

    Bowen, who was driving, said he thought he was driving on solid ice, but the truck broke through. It partly submerged in several feet of water. The three men waded through knee-deep water to shore.

    The Rice Lake Volunteer Fire Department, St. Louis County Sheriff's Volunteer Rescue Squad, St. Louis County Sheriff's Department and a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer assisted in the rescue.

    The Sheriff's Department warns anyone traveling on area lakes and streams that ice is never completely safe. Check with other anglers or check with area bait shops for changing ice conditions.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  8. #108
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    Default Missing man's body recovered in farm pond

    Missing man's body recovered in farm pond

    By DENNIS MAGEE, Courier Regional Editor

    January 29, 2004

    NEW HAMPTON --- The ending did not reward the effort.

    Hundreds of volunteers invested four days looking for Ted Leichtman, enduring bitter cold and gnawing frustration.

    Wednesday, scuba divers discovered the 54-year-old man's body under the ice at a nearby farm pond. It was found not more than a half-mile from Leichtman's rural Chickasaw County home.

    "It's been a long week," Sheriff Marty Larsen said.

    Larsen and other authorities who coordinated the search were quick to praise and thank the legion of volunteers.

    "When we called for help, everyone showed up. Every day I was surprised," he said.

    "They stayed until we told them to go home at night. They are exhausted," Larsen added.

    The discovery came shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday even as officials were orchestrating what they described as an "intensive" search on foot.

    More than 125 people spaced a handshake apart scoured a heavily wooded area east of Leichtman's home. The volunteers struggled to maintain a straight line through thickets and ditches, clambering over barbed wire fences and poking in any opening large enough to possibly conceal a person.

    In places, snowdrifts were knee-deep. Everywhere else, a dangerous wind chill.

    "It's been overwhelming. I can't express enough all the appreciation for what the community has done," New Hampton Fire Chief Steve Geerts said.

    Leichtman disappeared Sunday. His wife, Donna, has said she heard a door slam early that morning.

    Leichtman may have been disoriented because he had fallen earlier in the week, striking his head. The couple were on their way to see a doctor when Leichtman left the house unexpectedly. He was last seen wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and tennis shoes.

    Besides his wife, Leichtman is survived by a 13-year-old daughter, Andrea.

    "We were all hoping for the best," neighbor Terry Schulz said Wednesday.

    Schulz and his brother, Steve, offered a machine shop around the corner from Leichtman's house for searchers to use as a base for operations.

    "We had it available, and we wanted to help," Schulz said. "Everyone chipped in and this was our contribution."

    Col. Rex Glasgow of the Civil Air Patrol said missing persons who become disoriented in cold weather sometimes follow a pattern: They turn their back to the wind and walk.

    Leichtman apparently did just that. A strong wind was blowing from the east Sunday, propelling him west toward a neighbor's property. Authorities said Leichtman likely walked in a straight line out onto the frozen pond.

    "You can see his buildings from where we were," Sheriff Larsen said.

    Though the pond's owner was using an aerator to maintain open water, scuba divers believe Leichtman broke through the ice. Jerry Johnson of Bassett, training coordinator for the Iowa Underwater Search and Rescue team, reported finding what appeared to be a fresh hole that had iced over.

    Johnson said the pond covers about an acre and is perhaps no more than 6 feet deep.

    Larsen confirmed the property owner examined the ice Sunday morning and that authorities used dogs at the site on Monday. Searchers even reportedly agitated the water in an attempt to produce a scent for the animals.

    Wednesday, the divers, who are based in Mason City, worked in 15- to 20-minute shifts because of the intense cold. The team had been in the water for about four hours before discovering Leichtman's body.

    To the end, authorities and volunteers maintained the task of finding Leichtman was a "search and rescue" effort.

    Fire Chief Geerts first words at about 2 p.m. were resigned, lacking both enthusiasm and any measure of satisfaction.

    "We found him," he said.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  9. #109
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    Default Woman Rescued

    Water Rescue

    January 28, 2004

    By Mark Locklear - Staff writer

    LUMBERTON, NC - Gena Radford was chin-deep in icy water, with no escape from her Ford Explorer that was sinking in a roadside swamp, seconds away from a watery grave.

    That's when safety arrived through a broken sunroof.

    This morning, Radford, a Lumberton woman, talked through a steady stream of tears about her near-death experience on Monday.

    "I would love to thank those guys who rescued me," Radford said. "I know they put themselves in danger helping me."

    Minutes after leaving work at a Whiteville BB&T branch, Radford was driving her 1996 Ford Explorer home when it hit an icy patch and slid off Lennon's Bridge on Old Whiteville Road near the Columbus County line. The vehicle landed right-side up in the swamp and slowly began sinking. Radford, who can't swim, remained in the SUV and called for help on her cell phone.

    She had been in the 20-degree water for about 25 minutes when Allenton firefighters arrived. Volunteer firefighter Jimmy Stone, who received the call for help at 12:15 p.m., said it rescuers were slowed by treacherous roads. Several Allenton firefighters drove their personal vehicles.

    "I was the fifth person to get there," Stone said. "The roads were slick. When we pulled up. The truck looked like it was getting deeper and deeper."

    The vehicle was about 6 feet from the bank. Water was level with the passenger windows.

    "I had to make a decision," Stone said. "Brian Davis tied a rope around himself and jumped in first."

    Stone, wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes and a flannel jacket, followed Davis into the water. Stone, who is 6 feet 3 inches tall, said he was "neck deep" in the water.

    Davis used a wrench to break the glass sunroof. He told Radford to unhook her seat belt. The men lifted Radford through the sunroof and onto the hood of the SUV. She was placed into a safety basket mounted on a ladder, which led to safety on the bank of the swamp.

    Cole Martin, another firefighter, was armpit-deep in the water and held the basket steady as Radford was pulled to safety and wrapped in warm blankets.

    Members of the Lumberton Rescue Unit, Robeson County paramedics and the state troopers also responded. The rescue took about 15 minutes.

    Life-saving call

    Radford, 47, did not suffer any injuries.

    "I couldn't open the sunroof because it had ice on it," Radford said. "The window wouldn't roll down either.

    "My cell phone was my life line. I probably wouldn't be here living and breathing without my cell phone. People abuse them, but they are good for emergencies."

    Water was rushing inside the vehicle from the floorboard, Radford said, and had reached her chin.

    "If it was 20 minutes, if felt a lot longer," she said. "It was very, very cold."

    She was treated for hypothermia at Southeastern Regional Medical Center and released.

    "I was just doing my job," Martin said. "All the firemen did an excellent job."

    Radford's husband, Ronald, was also feeling grateful this morning.

    "I am thankful she is OK," he said. "She's fortunate. It was a pretty scary event. I would certainly like to thank those men who put themselves in harm's way."
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default River accident kills one

    River accident kills one

    By MIKE ALBRECHT, Bismarck Tribune
    January 29, 2004

    Bismarck, ND -- A 42-year-old Bismarck man died Wednesday afternoon when the vehicle he was in broke through the ice at about 12:30 p.m. and sank into the Missouri River about 15 miles south of Bismarck.

    Two other Bismarck men got out of the vehicle in time.

    Dan Phillips, 47, and his son, Dan Phillips Jr., 28, of Bismarck, told their story from a still-running U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' pickup. The survivors were waiting for the Burleigh County dive team to pull their friend, Bradly Clark, from the river.

    Phillips said he purchased a 1994 Chevrolet Tahoe on Friday and asked his son and Clark to go on an off-roading excursion to test it out.

    "When we first got down here, there was so much steam we couldn't see anything," Phillips said.

    Phillips said he drove out onto the ice, thinking it was a sandbar, and tried to turn back when he noticed open water. That's when he heard a crack and the front of the vehicle started to sink. Phillips tried to back out while his son jumped out a back door.

    "I just freaked. I panicked," Phillips said. "I just rolled down the window as far as it would go and tried to squeeze out."

    The vehicle sank fast, front first.

    Phillips Jr. said his foot got stuck while he was trying escape, but he worked it free and began pulling his dad out of the sinking vehicle.

    Clark was unable to escape.

    "The last words I heard out of him were 'Dan, help me,'" Phillips Jr. said.

    Clark was trying to kick out the back window as the vehicle sank deeper into the more than 12 feet of water.

    Phillips called 911 on his cell phone, and he and his son waited about 15 minutes next to the hole in the ice, only about 10 feet from the open water.

    That's where they were when men from the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department, the Bismarck Rural Fire Department, the corps and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department arrived.

    In the about 18-below temperatures, more than 20 men immediately began to form a life line.

    With rope strung between them, they spread out across the ice. Slush formed at their feet. The lead man jabbed a sharp pole into the ice in front of him as he walked slowly toward the opening. When he reached it, ladders were laid down. Later an inflatable raft was brought out.

    They had reached the hole when the Burleigh County dive team arrived.

    As men routinely returned to vehicles to warm up, the dive team began to set up.

    Deputies clad in outdated black snowsuits, fur lined hats and heavy winter coats spotted the river bank.

    The four divers wore blue, insulated, dry suits.

    The first attempt to dive made by Deputy Gary Schaffer was unsuccessful when an air regulator froze up. So the dive team returned to their truck to wait for more gear.

    Around 4 p.m. it arrived.

    Someone's ice house made of tarp and plywood was set up next to the hole as a sort of communications base. More than a dozen firefighters and deputies stood holding ropes as a second diver -- Kelly Leben -- submerged.

    The sound of Leben's heavy breathing came from a radio inside the ice house.

    "I got him," Leben said after a few minutes.

    Leben said the body was caught on something inside the vehicle, and he couldn't pull him free. And even if he could free the body, Leben said he might lose him in the current.

    Deputies tied a slip knot on the end of a rope and pushed it to Leben with a 7-foot pole.

    After several false alarms, Leben yelled over the radio for the men to pull up the body.

    Within seconds the body was pulled onto the ice.

    As firefighters wrestled to roll the man onto a stretcher, Leben's voiced blared over the radio.

    "Get my helmet off," Leben repeated several times even as deputies were working to do just that.

    Firefighters and deputies returned to their vehicles at about 5 p.m. to warm up before they packed up for the day. Also at the scene were Metro Area Ambulance and the Salvation Army.

    Phillips and his son were still waiting in the pickup when their friend was pulled from the river. Phillips Jr. had frostbite on his ear, but Phillips wasn't injured.

    Phillips was emotional when he spoke of Clark, his friend of 15 years. He said Clark moved to Bismarck from Washington State about five months ago. Clark was staying with him and worked as a carpenter until he injured his elbow recently. Clark had just undergone surgery and was going to return to work.

    "I don't know how he didn't get out," Phillips said. "It's terrible. I don't know how to deal with it."
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  11. #111
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    Default Fire, emergency teams dive into rescue practice

    An Icy Mission
    Fire, emergency teams dive into rescue practice

    Crews based in Fortescue and Vineland braved the cold this weekend to brush up on their skills for the next time they're called for a rescue operation in icy waters.

    About a dozen members of the Fortescue Fire/Rescue and Dive Team spent about three hours conducting drills Saturday at Shaw's Mill Pond in Cedarville. They practiced techniques for recovering bodies and police evidence from the ice-covered pond.

    And in Vineland, members of Rescue 1 and Fire Company 3 held an ice and water rescue drill Sunday morning at Burnt Mill Lake off Arbor Avenue. They'll try to stage more similar drills later this year, Fire Capt. Robert Scarpa said.

    "What makes our dive team kind of unique is we have guys from four counties -- Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic and Cape May," said Cliff Higbee, chief of Fortescue's team. "We're kind of spread all over the place, so if something happens I can usually have two or three divers on location in 10 or 15 minutes."

    This weekend, Higbee's team cut through ice 7 to 10 inches thick and then put orange construction cones into the water. Cones are used because they're roughly the size of a small child, he said.

    Divers, using air hoses to breathe, went into the pitch-black water without any lights to find the cones and bring them to the surface. They were aided by other crew members on the surface, who used electronic communications and nonverbal signals to direct the divers.

    Higbee said the drill was a success. "We'll definitely do this again before the ice thaws," he said.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Firefighters stay prepared with Ice rescue drills

    Local firefighters stay prepared with Ice rescue drills

    MARION -- Cold weather was a boon for Marion City Fire Department firefighters earlier this month.

    It provided them a chance to do something they've been meaning to do for years - ice rescue training, which is part of an effort to augment skills training that began this year. Firefighters also will study hazardous materials, rope and confined space rescue procedures.

    Firefighters Mark Dix and Bob Harbin trained the local team after learning ice rescue techniques on Lake Erie with the Upper Sandusky Fire Department Jan. 11.

    About 55 of the 65 Marion City firefighters visited the pond in McKinley Park, on the city's south side, the next weekend for three sessions of training. One of the three city fire crews attended each day, and the hands-on work followed how-to rescue classes.

    The other firefighters watched as a handful of their crew dressed in neoprene dry suits and went into the pond, which has a maximum depth of 15 feet and was covered in a three- to four-inch sheet of clear ice.

    "We had to cut it with a chain saw," said Platoon Chief Rob Cowell, who wore a suit and went into the water.

    Those who went in the water stayed above surface because dry suits are meant to keep the wearer water-free. The firefighters were not training for underwater events that would require diving masks.

    Cowell said the dry suit kept him warm in the water - and he wasn't intimidated by the frigid pond, which was about 39 degrees at the time.

    "You were able to float on your back without much effort," he said. "The suit has so much buoyancy, you were able to float four or five people with one suit."

    Firefighters practiced rescue techniques for victims trapped in cold water using a pole, a bag, a disc and the dry suits. Going into the water in a dry suit and dragging to safety with a rope and harness is a last resort.

    Firefighters first try to pull someone to shore by reaching out to them with a pole, then they throw a bag with a rope attached to it, then a disc with a rope. Finally, they resort to going into the water in their rubber suits, and the trainers emphasized swallowing water can be dangerous.

    "Most of the drowning is going to take place when (a victim) takes a big gulp of water," said Harbin. He said that accelerates the body's drop in temperature, which could lead to an abnormally low body temperature and hypothermia. He added that after five minutes, the icy water soaks through the body, and a victim ceases to be able to move.

    Marion firefighters haven't had ice training in four years, and they have never trained in realistic circumstance, in cold water wearing their suits.

    Firefighter Ed Borland said that the increased ice training is partly because of the weather, which afforded a good opportunity, and it is also because of a cold water death in late November of 2003.

    "There was a sense of urgency," Borland said of the firefighters' need to improve their skills after the death.

    Sudha Mani, 24, of Columbus, died Nov. 29 after dozing at the wheel and losing control of her vehicle, which went across the median and off the other side of the road coming to rest in the pond east of Marion on U.S. 23 on Nov. 28. Mani was able to get out of the car, but became too numb to move and was trapped in the water for 26 minutes before rescuers could get her to solid ground.

    McKinley Pond may look safe to skate or play on because of the thickness of the ice on the surface, but it could be dangerous. Borland, Cowell and Harbin agreed that ice is never safe to play on, and those who spend time near a frozen pond should be with a friend.

    The city prohibits ice skating on land it owns, such as McKinley Park's pond and the lake at Quarry Park. Extra care near frozen bodies of water helps, but city officials agree it's a good idea to be prepared.

    "I think as the largest area in the county with probably more resources than many of our outlying areas, it's good for us to have the training both for our needs and for those out there in the county," said Dale Osborn, city safety/service director.

    Other local ice rescuers include the Marion City Police Department diving team.

    Marion Township Fire Department may hold similar training sessions in the spring and summer, said acting Lt. Darrin Hollenbaugh.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Diverse teams join in for a dive training

    Wednesday, February 04, 2004

    Diverse teams join in for a dive training


    Diving into the still, icy waters of Blue Springs to search for evidence quickly sapped their strength, but the men from Marion and Shelby counties stuck it out together Tuesday, proving there is strength in numbers.

    A pot of chili simmering on the camp stove — an industrial space heater set up in a tented area near the dock — and camaraderie helped warm the members of dive teams comprised of Indianapolis police and fire departments, the Indiana Department of Conservation, and Shelby County and Shelbyville law enforcement and fire departments.

    Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies Denis Ratekin and Rod Mohr were the first to go under the frigid water. But instead of weapons, the officers were armed with air tanks, flippers, mouthpiece radios and weighted belts — and clad in drysuits for protection against hypothermia.

    The divers paired up into seven teams of two for safety; another eight men above watched closely, listened to radio communication and held yellow ropes attached to each of the divers’ suits — so there was no chance of losing the divers under the nearly five-inch-thick ice covering the quarry.

    Team members searched for “evidence” together, communicating with each other and those on the surface as needed. After about 15 minutes under the 36-degree water, conservation officers helped haul the divers to shore in bitter gusts of wind. Two more divers went down.

    If neighboring areas like Shelby County are involved in long recoveries or searches, the Indianapolis Dive Team will be down within about an hour, so it makes sense that they train together on a frequent basis. The teams already have a good working relationship, IPD Dive Team’s spokesman, Terry Hall, said.

    Indianapolis Police Officer David Hofmann, a member of Hall’s team, proved his point as he helped calm Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Maloney before his first-ever ice dive.

    “Once you get inverted, just put your feet on the ice...” he began.

    Hofmann must know what to do — his team members recently voted him “Diver of the Year.”

    Maloney and Mohr never experienced ice-diving before, but became certified ice divers after Tuesday’s exercise.

    Two of the local divers, Shelbyville police officer Jeremiah Walton and Shelbyville firefighter and public information officer Steve Schoentrup, became involved for the first time this year. He hopes for more volunteers from those departments, Ratekin said.

    More members could be recruited, but the department does not have the funds to outfit them. Each diver is equipped with a complete set of SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) gear, including a drysuit, full facemask with communication gear, air tanks, ropes and other equipment. A complete set of gear costs about $5,000, Ratekin said. The team relies heavily on grants from businesses and individuals to assist — a grant from PSI Energy paid for the last suit.

    Shelby County’s six-man SCUBA Team was called up three times in the past year. Their last recovery was in July 2000, when Allen W. Hazelwood had a heart attack while fishing and fell over the side of his boat.

    The team trains in the waters of the 100-acre Blue Springs Quarry, owned by Rick Sandefur and located at 6157 S. 600E, a couple of times each year. Because of its more than 80-foot depth, the quarry is the only place in the Midwest where SCUBA divers can get their master diver’s certification.

    Members of the Indianapolis Police Department Underwater Search and Recovery Team provide water rescue and underwater investigative services to the citizens of Indianapolis and Marion County.

    Divers on both teams serve voluntarily, and are on call 24 hours a day to respond to a water incident at any time — even during their scheduled duties as patrol officers, supervisors, detectives, administrators and firefighters within their departments.

    The dive teams are committed to the preservation of life, collection of evidence for use in criminal prosecutions, recovery of lost or stolen property, and public education on water safety.

    Tuesday’s training was definitely a team effort. Sharing equipment and food in frigid temperatures during a training exercise will help the teams become one when they need to work together in a real emergency, Hall said.

    “This is what needs to go on all the time,” Hall said. “I’m tired of people being territorial.”
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Boy Scouts Hold Ice Rescue Training Session

    Boy Scouts Hold Ice Rescue Training Session
    Saturday, February 07, 2004

    From The KCRG-TV9
    Cedar Rapids Newsroom

    Snow isn't the only winter element creating problems this time of year. Thin ice on Iowa’s lakes, ponds and rivers can also be a threat.

    The Boy Scouts of Troop 44 in Delhi are working to prevent such an incident from ever happening to them. They're teaching each other how to rescue someone that has fallen into the ice. The scouts are building their skills by using different objects, such as a ladder or a rope from a nearby boat.

    Scoutmaster Bill Cooey told TV9, “We have made up a list of safety tips that we can hand out to anybody who wants them, we've also made a video and we will send it to anyone who wants to see it on ice rescue techniques."

    The scouts plan to sell the tapes to raise money for their troop.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Dogs take a hike -- an icy one

    Dogs take a hike -- an icy one
    Day-long canine caper ends on Kelleys Island

    Staff writer

    KELLEYS ISLAND -- A pair of dogs led rescuers on a marathon search mission via plane, airboat and foot this weekend, roaming across the dangerous Lake Erie ice from Catawba Island to Kelleys Island.

    Family pets Kace (pronounced Casey), a 5-year-old golden retriever, and Bailey, a 3-year-old chocolate labrador, trotted onto the ice Sunday morning in the Catawba Cliffs neighborhood. After a roundabout journey and random visits to unsuspecting ice fishermen, they finally set paws on solid ground seven hours later on the southwest corner of Kelleys Island -- more than seven miles away

    "They're pretty active dogs," said their owner, Rick Cassel, in a vast understatement. "It was a pretty wild day."

    The canine capers began about 8 a.m. Cassel, a 1994 Port Clinton High School graduate, his wife, Brandie, and the dogs were spending the weekend at the Catawba Cliffs home of his mother, Jane Hermes. They turned the dogs loose -- Cassel said they are familiar with the area, and they often swim in the lake during summer months at a nearby beach.

    Kace and Bailey promptly vanished.

    After calling for the dogs in vain, Cassel said he drove around the neighborhood in his truck, looking for his pets. He encountered an unidentified man, who delivered startling news: "Hey, some guy spotted two dogs on the north side of Mouse Island out on the ice."

    Alarmed, Cassel drove to the Miller Ferry dock at the northern tip of the peninsula. He walked onto Pebble Beach and watched helplessly with binoculars as Kace and Bailey frolicked around a cluster of ice fishermen and shanties near South Bass Island -- about 2 1/2 miles offshore.

    Cassel and two friends, Brian Snyder and Eric Zak, trekked onto the frozen lake, hiking about two miles toward the dogs before deciding the ice was too dangerous to continue. Meanwhile, Kace and Bailey instinctively began following a huge east-west crack line, trotting away from the mainland toward Kelleys Island.

    About 10:30 a.m., Cassel called Put-in-Bay Mayor Bernard "Mack" McCann for help. McCann owns an airboat, and he motored across the ice from South Bass Island and picked up the trio, along with Brandie Cassel and Mandy Colvin. They roared eastward, looking for the dogs.

    The rescuers alerted Kelleys Island Police Chief Ron Schnittker about 12:45 p.m., asking him to keep an eye peeled for dogs on the lake. Cassel said Griffing Flying Service pilots even started swinging their planes wide and low during island flights, trying to spot the wandering animals.

    McCann's airboat began following a trail of pawprints in the snow, eventually leading across the ice to a large open hole of frigid water, about 3/4 of a mile off the western Kelleys Island shore.

    The tracks abruptly stopped at the hole.

    "I said, 'Well, they're either at Kelleys, Marblehead or down at the bottom,'" McCann said. "It was probably pretty heart-wrenching for them because there were no more tracks, and the ice was breaking up in that area."

    Dejected and fearing the worst, the group turned around and returned to Catawba Island. But in reality, Kace and Bailey hadn't drowned or frozen to death -- instead, they were barking at Schnittker about 40 yards off the southwest corner of Kelleys Island.

    Schnittker said he had to sit in his Ford Explorer police cruiser for about an hour before the globetrotting dogs would approach him.

    "I went out and called for the dogs, but I'm sure after being out there all day, they were kind of spooked," he said. "They didn't want anything to do with me -- they just kept barking at me."

    Eventually, however, Kace and Bailey trotted ashore, befriended Schnittker and climbed into the back seat of the Explorer shortly after 3 p.m., thus ending the dog drama.

    "They both went right to sleep," he said. "They definitely did a little hiking."

    Schnittker called Rick Cassel with the welcome news.

    "Oh, it was fantastic. I just had to look at my wife an hour and a half before that and tell her, 'I don't think the dogs are going to make it,'" Cassel said.

    McCann gassed up his airboat and drove the rescuers to Kelleys Island to pick up the pets. Schnittker said neither dog suffered any apparent injuries, though ice had caked around the pads of Bailey's paws.

    "Bailey was tired and barely wanted to walk, but Kace was pretty excited," Cassel said.

    "Kace was the leader in the whole thing, according to what the fishermen told me."

    Put-in-Bay Mayor Bernard "Mack" McCann (kneeling) plays with "Kace, "a golden retriever, after Sunday's ice rescue. Standing in front of McCann's airboat are, from left: Rick Cassel, Brandie Cassel, Mandy Colvin, Brian Snyder and Eric Zak.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Family rescued from Lake Winnebago ice

    Feb. 15, 2004

    Family rescued from Lake Winnebago ice

    NEENAH — A Neenah family was rescued from Lake Winnebago on Saturday night after their pickup entered the ice near the mouth of the Fox River.

    A Neenah-Menasha Fire rescue boat was used to rescue Joseph R. Dix, Julie A. Remmel and her son, Chad. They were taken to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, where they were treated and released.

    The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department reported that the trio was driving on the lake between Lake Street and Jefferson Park, when they drew close to open water.

    The ice broke around them and their truck began to sink.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Dive Team rescues a man from the White River

    Dive Team rescues a man from the White River

    Feb. 15, 2004

    Indianapolis, IN- The Indianapolis Police and Fire department dive teams put hours of training to work Sunday morning as they rescued a 56-year-old man who tried to commit suicide.

    On a very cold Sunday morning emergency crews got a call someone needed help.

    A 56-year-old man was inside a van that was halfway submerged in the White River near 30th Street. Tire tracks through the snow showed he never hit the brakes on his way into the water.

    Officials say the man was conscious and alert and pretty mad at himself that the water was not deep enough.

    Once the victim was out of the water, divers worked to get the van out. During the last several weeks both the police and fire department dive teams have been working in frigid temps doing ice dives as they practice for situations just like this.

    With the air temperature in the low 20s and water temperature around 35 degrees, it is crucial for the divers to be well-protected as they work in extremely difficult conditions.

    On this mission divers rescued the victim successfully putting hours of training to work.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Local firefighters train for winter emergencies

    Local firefighters train for winter emergencies

    February 17, 2004

    Ron Walters fell through the ice Monday night, dropping off a breakwater into Lake Michigan at Holland State Park.
    Fortunately, Walters was not in any real danger.

    A member of the Park Township Fire Department, Walters fell through the ice as part of a rescue training exercise for about 20 firefighters in the department.

    Fire Lt. Mark DeVries said the department trains for ice rescues annually.

    Walters, wearing a buoyant wet suit that would keep him warm in the freezing lake water, waited patiently for his rescuers to lower down the proper equipment to get him out of the water.

    "We send two people to rescue the individual in the water," DeVries said. "One of the firemen is the primary and the other is the secondary, there to help if something goes wrong."

    While the two firefighters slipped down the 20 feet from the breakwater down into the freezing water, other firefighters ran ropes and ladders across the ice.

    Once the firefighters in the water secured Walters, a device called a stokes basket was lowered off the side of the pier.

    "The Stokes basket helps keep the injured person secure," DeVries said. "During these cases when people get hypothermia, it's important to keep people stable."

    The basket also helps the firefighters as they don't have to drag the victim.

    "The firemen on land can pull the individual and the Stokes basket can slide on the ice or water," DeVries said.

    Practicing on Lake Michigan was something new for the fire department.

    DeVries said this year they decided to perform the rescue training on Lake Michigan because of the unusual ice floes by the beach.

    "This year they're bigger than they have been in the past," DeVries said. "We decided to train out on Lake Michigan because of that. It's a different environment out there than it is on an inland pond."

    DeVries said that while the fire department is prepared to handle an ice rescue, he prefers that people watch their step when going to Holland State Park to see the ice formations.

    DeVries said the waves left some ice formations but that the constantly shifting lake could be dangerous for individuals walking on the ice.

    "We don't recommend people go out on the ice on the lake," DeVries said. "It's not like ice on a pond. I know people have been going out there. If they're going out there, we recommend they wear warm clothes, use a rope or go out in a group."

    The ice could become even more dangerous this week as temperatures rise. Weather forecasts call for highs above 35 this week with temperatures possibly reaching 42 on Friday.

    DeVries said the fire department recently rescued a dog that had fallen into a pond but has not had to rescue a person from the ice.

    Click here to return to story:
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Fire department dealing with ‘icy matter’ head-on

    Fire department dealing with ‘icy matter’ head-on

    Tuesday, February 17, 2004

    The Monticello Fire Department is equipping itself to deal with the cold, harsh realities of rescuing victims who have fallen through the ice on local waterways. According to Captain Robert Hickman of the Monticello Fire Department, the need for specialized training in cold water and ice rescue training was underscored in 2000, when two Monticello men died after falling through the ice at Bluewater Park. In warmer months, brain damage can occur within 4-6 minutes of being trapped underwater, Hickman explained. Being surrounded by cold water slows of the body’s systems and allows more time before permanent damage sets in. For a water accident victim, the hypothermic reaction can mean more time for help to arrive and a greater chance of survival. “That’s why we decided to put the emphasis on cold water rescue,” explained Capt. Robert Hickman, of the Monticello Fire Department Dive Team. Toward that goal, Lieutenant Rocky Strange and firefighters Brett Milton, Brooks Ingle and Ty Corn were recently attended a three-day ice diving training class in Linnwood, Ill. Unlike warm water dives, “This requires a lot more training and entails a lot more risk,” said Hickman. Other members of the team include Captain Kevin Luse and Lieutenant Jason Thompson. In addition to the training, the department has acquired five “dry” dive suits for designed especially for the task. “These will probably become our primary dive suits,” said Hickman. The pressurized, sealed rubber “dry” suit also allows a diver to operate in contaminated water, Hickman explained. While the suits have not yet seen action in a real-world rescue, Hickman said, “At some point in time, they are going to be used.” Each suit and its equipment carries an $1,800 price tag. The first pair were purchased using funds from the White County Prosecutor’s deferral program, while the three newest suits and the January training were paid for using donations from a community fund drive held last summer. Each dive rescue requires four sets of suits, Hickman explained. “Two for the divers and two for those who are poised to rescue the rescuers, should they get into trouble. “A wet suit has to be individually fitted to the man,” explained Hickman. “This is basically one size fits all.” Unlike a standard wet suit, which provides some of its own flotation, a dry suit is kept buoyant by means of pressurized air adjusted by the diver. “If you tear that suit, you go straight to the bottom,” said Strange. Once below the ice, divers communicate with a spotter on the surface by way of a system of tugs on a tether. “For ice rescue, we use the same half-inch line we use (repelling) off a building,” explained Strange. Compared to a water rescue with few if any reference points, locating a victim who has fallen through the ice made easier for several reasons. Since the location of the fall is marked by a hole in the ice, divers can search in a radial pattern starting from that point, figuring from a foot to two feet of horizontal drift for every foot of depth. With no boat activity in the wintertime to churn up mud, “You do have several feet of visibility,” explained Hickman. The team is planning to attend another practice session with members of the Indiana State Police this March at a stone quarry near Logansport, Strange said.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Tragedy teaches a hard lesson

    Tragedy teaches a hard lesson
    Boy's drowning is grim reminder of the dangers of playing on ice

    By Tom Spalding

    February 18, 2004

    Ryan Wheeler was a smart kid who knew better, but the temptation of one of Marion County's thousands of small ponds apparently proved too much.

    The 9-year-old honors student drowned Monday afternoon after he chased a football onto the ice of an unguarded but heavily used Southwestside pond and fell through.

    Ryan Wheeler
    Relatives said they had warned Ryan before about the dangers of the ice-covered pond, but the bicycle tracks and footprints on the ice, and some say the inadequate warning signs along the shore, provided a false sense of security.

    His companion, a 14-year-old boy, learned the lesson that everyone seemed to be sharing Tuesday, the day after Ryan's death.

    "If you are not for sure the ice is hard enough, you shouldn't go out there," said Alandrius Allen.

    As Ryan's loved ones grieved, public safety experts and school leaders were hoping to turn the boy's death into a lesson for others.

    "It's a sad story. I'm heartbroken," said Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Dave Owens, the department's dive commander. "It's a tragedy. I hope the rest of the kids in that neighborhood will stay off that lake."

    The principal of Ryan's school, Valley Mills Elementary, called in grief counselors but also shared with the school's more than 600 students a list of ice-safety tips printed in Tuesday's editions of The Indianapolis Star. Principal Carl Benson ordered the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff this week and a tree to be planted in Ryan's memory this spring.

    "Nothing can minimize the loss," said Benson, who cried as he spoke with a reporter about the death. "He was a good little boy. He was a good little boy."

    Ryan was declared dead at 5:58 p.m. Monday in Wishard Memorial Hospital, an hour and two minutes after a team of Indianapolis police and fire department divers pulled him from beneath the ice. The roughly 80-foot-by-40-foot pond, in the Seerley Creek housing development near Troy Avenue and Lynhurst Drive, is typical of those constructed at housing additions and apartment complexes throughout the county. It has no fence.

    Two signs on its banks once said "No Swimming -- No Fishing" but are practically unreadable today. Neighbors had erected the signs to discourage children from playing in the pond, particularly during the winter.

    Tom Wheeler, who visited a makeshift memorial on the ground near the pond, was deeply upset Tuesday and wondered whether there should have been some type of barrier around the pond.

    "Two signs on one side were vandalized, and there were no signs on the other side," Wheeler said.

    Nothing in the Indianapolis municipal code requires the posting of a warning sign around a pond or lake, but many companies or private citizens put up such signs to avoid liability issues, said Teri Kendrick, the city prosecutor. Swimming pools are required to be fenced off and protected.

    Dantros Development of Indianapolis is listed as the pond's owner in the Decatur Township assessor's office. Officials with the firm couldn't be reached for comment.

    Indianapolis Police Sgt. Terry Hall, IPD's dive commander, said it's amazing there haven't been more deaths given the hundreds of ponds in Marion County.

    Rather than issue individual thin-ice reports, public-safety leaders generally try to get the word out about the dangers of ice-covered waterways.

    Indianapolis Police Chief Jerry Barker instructs pilots in the helicopter division to check ponds when ice is melting and children might be on the ice. And police and the Marion County Sheriff's Department have issued summonses to people who have entered unguarded waters.

    "We've been very aggressive," Hall said.

    Ryan, whose parents are divorced, split time with father Tom Wheeler and mother Stephanie Leisure. He lived with his father in the 5300 block of Honey Manor Drive, about three miles from the pond. Tom Wheeler and his family placed multiple mementos on a living room chair, including Ryan's class picture, a growth chart and pictures of Ryan from birth to age 7.

    His grandmother, Lela Anderson, recalled that Ryan used to sit at the end of a table and do homework as soon as he came home from school.

    She related a fateful conversation she'd recently had with Ryan.

    "There was a pond," Anderson said. "He said, 'Wouldn't it be fun to skate on that ice?' I said, 'Don't you ever try that, Ryan.' I said, 'There's too many kids that drown on that ice, and it's not solid enough.'

    "He said, 'I know, Grandma.' "

    At the time of the incident, Ryan had been staying with his mother in the 4800 block of Tempe Court. She also had warned him about the ice. Sometime after 4:30 p.m., Ryan was with his older stepbrother's good friend, Alandrius Allen, 14.

    That's when Ryan went on the ice to get the football and fell in. Alandrius said he went after Ryan but also fell in.

    A nearby resident, Larry Hopkins, who watched the boys walk out on the ice and fall in the water, had his wife call 911 while he used a garden hose, then a heavy-duty extension cord, to reach Alandrius. Hopkins and Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Woody Burton pulled Alandrius out, but Ryan didn't resurface.

    Officials got Ryan out of the water within 35 minutes, but it was too late.

    Alandrius, an eighth-grader at Decatur Middle School, spoke to Wheeler's father Tuesday and told him what happened.

    When he was in the pond, he remembered watching a TV show on the Discovery Channel about surviving in icy water. He said he remembered not to panic and he felt his legs float up. His mother, Sharon Allen, said Alandrius then tried to get Ryan to calm down, as well, but Ryan was panicked, cold and likely waterlogged.

    Sharon Allen said she was grateful to Hopkins and the sheriff's deputy and still stunned by the loss of life.

    "It's been an emotional roller coaster in this house all night long," she said Tuesday. "(Alandrius) hasn't had any sleep, I haven't had any sleep, and it's been hard on us, everybody."

    Paul Whitmore, a spokesman for the city Department of Public Works, said the city doesn't put up signs specifically applying to thin ice. The only place such a warning might be needed is in city parks, and general warning signs are already up. The city Parks Department allows skating on a pond at Eagle Creek Park, but that pond is monitored daily by park rangers, he said.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Man Dies After Falling Through Ice

    Man Dies After Falling Through Ice


    Goshen Township police are investigating a strange and tragic incident in a mobile home park Thursday.

    Thomas Mitchell walked out of the mobile home in Lakeshore Estates and right into an icy lake on the grounds.

    The ice broke, he fell in and when firefighters pulled him out he was unresponsive.

    Mitchell was pronounced dead at University Hospital.

    Police have ruled out foul play and are trying to figure out why Mitchell went out into the ice.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Drill turns into actual rescue

    Deputies Make Ice Rescue While Conducting Drill
    55-Year-Old Man Suffers Mild Hypothermia

    February 19, 2004

    Sheriff's deputies reportedly rescued a man who fell through the ice on Lake St. Clair Wednesday while they were conducting a drill.

    The 55-year-old Harrison Township man was riding an all-terrain vehicle around 1 p.m. when he fell into an open area of water on the lake, according to a report in The Macomb Daily. Two people on shore reportedly witnessed the fall and called 911.

    A team of Macomb County sheriff’s deputies conducting an ice rescue drill found the man hanging on to the edge of an ice floe in 8-foot-deep, 32-degree water, according to the report.

    Sheriff's deputies used a new inflatable vessel to get the man back to shore.

    "It was our first time training with the equipment and we may have already saved a life," Lt. Gary Paolella, head of the sheriff's marine patrol division, told the paper.

    The victim -- whose name was not released -- was treated for mild hypothermia.

    Copyright 2004 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Lions Club to the rescue

    Lions Club to the rescue
    Organization donates life-saving sled

    Chris Cassidy / Staff Writer

    Friday, February 20, 2004

    On the ice of the Concord River, fire and emergency crews got their first look at the department's newest life-saving device, designed to ensure the safety of those using the town's rivers and ponds for recreation.

    Crews are hoping the department's new Rescue Alive sled will provide them with an improved tool to save anyone who falls beneath the ice of the town's bodies of water.

    "Everyone thinks it's a great additional tool that we have available for us to make an ice or water rescue," said Captain Ken O'Donnell.

    The platform weighs 80 pounds and can carry a load of up to 600 pounds. Attached to the shore by a 300-foot rope, the platform can move across ice and water, allowing rescue crews a fast method of reaching those trapped beneath the ice.

    Once pulled out of the water, rescuers secure the victim to the platform with a Velcro strap, while emergency crews on shore pull the apparatus back to land.

    "We have a lot of open water in Concord and we have areas that ice over in the winter," O'Donnell said. "People use these areas and it gives us a little more of a method to get them out of there if they should get in trouble."

    Previously, the department relied on two older generation rescue sleds, where the rescuer would lie flat on the platform and pull himself along the ice to the victim.

    The newest platform, a donation from the Lions Club, allows the rescuer to stand up, creating a better zone of visibility, and reduces the amount of energy required from rescuers to reach the victim.

    It also allows crews to save more than one victim at a time and can be used during the summer to help aid those who may be drowning.

    The department's newest life-saving device came as a result of a $4,500 donation from the Lions Club, which raised the money through a series of fundraisers, ranging from pancake breakfasts to hotdog sales at high school football games.

    Lions Club President Leslie Luppold presented the department with the $4,500 check at last week's Board of Selectmen's meeting.

    The donation allowed the department to purchase the Rescue Alive ice and water platform, two ice rescue suits and helmets, and two 300-foot water rescue rope bags.

    "As the need became more obvious, the Concord Lions Club was only more than happy to come forward," Luppold said.

    The Lion's Club had also donated the two older generation ice rescue platforms to the department years ago.

    Luppold joined Fire Chief Ken Willette and other emergency crews by the Lowell Road bridge last week as they began training on the new platform.

    By this point, all department officials have taken a turn properly learning the intricacies of the new device.

    Luppold, a nurse by trade, said she was thrilled with the department's training sessions and hopes the donation will make a difference in the future.

    "I hope that for them it promotes safety and life saving if it's ever needed and that they have the capability to present the safety in a comprehensive manner," she said. "It's really important that we're able to help them provide that."
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Body of snowmobiler found in St. Croix River

    Body of snowmobiler found in St. Croix River

    Jim Adams, Star Tribune

    February 20, 2004

    After more than eight hours of searching, rescue workers recovered a Hudson, Wis., man's body from the St. Croix River after he and his snowmobile disappeared early Thursday.

    The body of William Boehnlein, 29, was found about 1 p.m. in the area near the Lake Mallalieu Dam, just north of Hudson, said St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead.

    Boehnlein had been snowmobiling with his friend, Christopher McQuaid, 31, of Plymouth. He saw Boehnlein's machine sink in front of the dam, Hillstead said. McQuaid stopped, took off his snowmobile suit and swam to the spot but couldn't find his friend. He called police about 4:12 a.m.

    Hillstead said it appeared that Boehnlein might have lost his bearings and thought he was farther north near the landing where they had unloaded the snowmobiles. No foul play is suspected, he said.

    McQuaid was treated at the Hudson hospital and released, said Dan Roeglin, Hudson assistant fire chief. He said rescue teams waded along the river bank, and divers from Hudson and Washington County, Minn., joined the search.

    Hillstead warned riders that the St. Croix "is never a safe place to ride a snowmobile. The ice is very treacherous with a lot of open spots and thin ice." He said fast currents cause eddies and pools where the turbulence erodes the ice.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default 2 boys pulled from icy lake

    2 kids pulled from ice in Milford


    Meggan Clark , Register Staff

    MILFORD — Two 14-year-old boys were rescued from the icy waters of the reservoir behind Jonathan Law High School Friday, after they fell through the ice, fire officials said.

    Tragedy was averted because a passer-by heard the boys’ screams for help, and fire crews responded to the scene. Fire Capt. Richard Mohr said the boys would not have been able to get out of the icy water without help.

    Mohr estimated the boys had been in the water for 10 to 15 minutes. Hypothermia, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the body temperature lowers, is more likely to occur if a body is submerged in cold water, according to the Web site for the National Center for Environmental Health.

    "Within an hour these kids would have been in a lot of trouble," Mohr said.

    "They were getting too cold," he said. "This would have just spiraled worse and worse. They would have eventually fallen unconscious, they would have gone under and they would have drowned."

    The pair, who were not identified, were taken to Milford Hospital for treatment. Mohr said the boys could not feel their legs when they were pulled from the water, but did not appear to have suffered serious injuries.

    One of the boys had on inline skates and the other had a skateboard when they were found, Mohr said.

    Firefighters responded to the call of a passer-by at about 5:10 p.m. after people attending an evening event at the Lansdale Avenue high school heard the boys’ screams, Mohr said.

    As crews approached the water, Mohr said, firefighters could hear the boys screaming for help, saying they were freezing.

    The boys had tried to get out of the water, but were impeded by the cold and the breaking ice, Mohr said.

    The dramatic ice rescue was something the Fire Department had been training for only the day before in drills Mohr runs regularly so crew are prepared for such a scenario.

    By the time they arrived on the scene Friday, Mohr said, the firefighters already had on the yellow rubber protective suits they wear in icy water. They snapped on their safety harnesses as they were jogging to the reservoir, which was surrounded by brush.

    Firefighters Todd Ricci, Jack Geary and Scott Tummins slid out over the ice on their stomachs on specially designed sleds that distribute weight over a broad area to keep from cracking the ice. They attached flotation devices to the two victims, and two of the firefighters entered the water to load them onto the weight-bearing sleds, which then were towed back to shore by firefighters on the banks.

    The boys were then put in cocoon-like bags to keep them warm and taken to the hospital by ambulance. From the time the Fire Department arrived on the scene, the rescue took about eight minutes.

    "I’m very pleased," Mohr said. "The guys were outstanding, and the guys are pleased because it went so well."

    Recently, the Fire Department’s constant training also paid off when crews safely rescued a large swan that had become stuck in ice on Milford Harbor.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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