Every year, emergency personnel in eastern Idaho have to respond to at least a few ice water rescues. To increase their proficiency, some departments have gotten together to go over tactics they use when on scene.
“It’s right at freezing so we have about 24 inches of ice and when we cut that open, anything that comes to the surface pretty much ices right over” said Scott Grimmett of the Idaho Falls Fire Department.
These men are made up of the Bonneville County, Bingham County and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Offices as well as the Idaho Falls Fire Department.
They all get together for trainings like this at least once a year.
“The benefits are that we get to know and use our equipment and we don’t want to be doing that when we haven’t had to use it for quite a while and get it out on a real call, so we come out here under safe conditions where we have a lot of people tethered off and thinking about safety” continued Grimmett.
These men are practicing different scenarios which include pulling someone out of the water with a rescue board and using their rapid deployment craft to assist a victim in harsh water conditions.
“Even though it’s winter time it’s not a bad idea to wear a PFD or a lifejacket so we can find you a little bit easier, so even if you do get in the water you’re not going to go down and get underneath the ice” said Grimmett.
The different emergency departments have been training for three days now.
They hope everyone stays safe but they say they are trained and ready to go if and when someone needs them.