Ice rescue training

Photos courtesy Pagosa Fire Protection District

Pagosa Fire Protection District (PFPD) firefighters participate in ice rescue training on Jan. 4. Firefighters conducted drills in Village Lake, off North Pagosa Boulevard, utilizing both ice and open water conditions. Various techniques, including rescue from the ice, rescue from ice shelf, open water rescue and patient interaction, along with rope and shore procedures, were practiced.
The local area produces a great variety of ice conditions. Ice stability fluctuates based on weather conditions (sun, snow on top of ice, wind) and human factors (debris, fishing holes, location to human built features like roadways and docks). This season’s weather has led to relatively unstable ice as snow has fallen, compressed and been exposed to a wide range of temperatures on many area lakes and waterways.
PFPD advises everyone to stay clear of potential ice hazards. If an animal or person falls through the ice, do not attempt a rescue. Call 911 immediately for assistance. The most important thing an onlooker can provide is good information. Keep the distressed individual in sight and yell to let them know help is on the way. When rescue personnel arrive on scene, provide detailed information about the location of individual or animal.