Rapid City Fire Department trains for dangerous ice rescues
Falling through the ice can be a more serious situation than most people think
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Although they don’t see many of them, the Rapid City Fire Department is called to at least one ice rescue every winter.
“Any event can happen, so we need to be trained at all levels,” stated Sage Stephens, a firefighter and paramedic with the RCFD.
These situations can be some of the most difficult rescues for the department.
“So this is definitely one of our high risk, low frequency things. something we don’t see a lot with the weather the way it is, we don’t have a ton of ice. but definitely something that can be dangerous to anyone trying to assist in the rescue,” Jonny Knutson, ice rescue instructor, said.
Time is an important factor in the rescue.
”Removing them out safely and gentle as possible, but then just getting them out as quick as possible so we can start the rewarming process,” said Knutson.
By training for ice rescues, Fire Station 3 and the Rapid City/Pennington County water rescue team are ready when the call comes in.
“It is challenging; it always makes you push yourself a little farther. But you know its something we do and something you get used to. You know as being a fireman you never stop learning,” stated Stephens
Although ice rescues are Station 3′s specialty, all shifts at all stations will participate in this week’s training and five rescue technicians will be certified.
Copyright 2023 KOTA. All rights reserved.