Wednesday, July 17, 2024
HomeSafety and RescueHVFCoHVFC Performs Ice Safety Drill

HVFC Performs Ice Safety Drill

By Olivia Drake, HVFC Public Information Officer.

The Town of Haddam is overflowing with more than two dozen bodies of water, from the Higganum Reservoir, to Hidden Lake, to Bible Rock Brook, Candlewood Hill Brook, Black Shop Pond, Higganum Creek, and of course, the Connecticut River.
During the winter months, such waterways may partially or completely freeze over, leaving at-risk surfaces for hikers, ice skaters, fishermen, or others participating in wintertime wayfaring.
“Even if the ground feels solid, there’s always a chance of encountering soft, melted areas which may lead to someone falling through the ice,” said HVFC Captain Dan Casey. “It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take extra caution near, or on, bodies of water, and especially if it’s snow-covered.”
In the event someone does fall through the ice or into a body of water, members of Haddam Volunteer Fire Company are ready to come to the rescue. If a victim cannot be assisted by a rope and life preserver, firefighters will use a rescue sled to access the patient.
On Jan. 17, 2022, firefighters participated in an annual ice rescue training on the Higganum Reservoir. During the drill, firefighters—who donned specialized cold-water rescue suits and protective equipment—took turns sliding a rapid transport sled across the ice to where a “victim” had fallen in the ice. The rescuers helped pull the victim from the icy water and relied on fellow firefighters to pull the sled, victim, and the rescuer to shore. In a real scenario, emergency medical technicians would immediately treat the victim for potential hypothermia.
“Since ice rescues are rare incidents, it’s crucial that our members practice gearing up and learn, hands-on through this training, how to quickly help someone trapped in the ice,” Captain Casey said.
Photos by Chuck Kowal and Jeff Doskos.

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