Salmon Arm firefighters on thin ice in rescue exercise

Frozen waters of McGuire Lake provide ideal setting for rescue team training

Salmon Arm firefighters were on thin ice Thursday evening as the fire department conducted a training exercise on McGuire Lake.

Water rescue dry suits were the turnout gear of choice for members of the Salmon Arm Fire Department’s rescue team, who took turns extracting the “victim,” the fire department’s Lt. Tyler Stevenson, from a hole cut into the frozen lake during the two-hour exercise on Jan. 10.

“So we had a theory session on this… tonight is the practical session,” explained Fire Chief Brad Shirley. “We do have a number of new people on our rescue team, so it’s just a team effort of talking about it and coming up with a best plan. There’s a couple of different ways we can rescue people from the ice and that’s what we’re doing tonight.”

Related: Recruits needed for Shuswap fire departments

Several rescues were conducted throughout the evening, during which rescue team members slowly made their way across the ice to Stevenson, moving into the water to see to his extraction. Each rescue was followed by a debriefing in which the group broke down what occurred and determined how things could be done better.

The hole in the water expanded throughout the exercise as chunks of ice repeatedly broke away with each rescue. This added to the realism of the exercise for Stevenson.

Related: Salmon Arm Fire Department adding all-terrain vehicles to fleet

“Being such a warm winter this year, ice rescue is something… that’s on the front of our minds because there is a potential danger this year with the thin ice,” said Stevenson. “It’s definitely breaking away, every time you try to get your arms down, it was breaking away in large slabs. If you weren’t wearing a nice suit like this, you’d be a lot colder than I was.”

Shirley concurred, encouraging people to keep off seemingly frozen bodies of water.

“With the current conditions, it does happen that people do fall through the ice, so that’s what we’re training for here tonight,” said Shirley. “Certainly, just a warning to the public, not to go on any ice, any ponds, even along the lakeshore. It might appear that the ice is thick, but it doesn’t take much for people to fall through.”

Anyone wishing to learn more about the Salmon Arm Fire Department or becoming a member can visit the City of Salmon Arm website or email bshirley@salmonarm.ca.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Man charged in Salmon Arm 7-Eleven fire granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

Signs commemorating Japanese interment in the Shuswap planned

Information on each of the five internment camps in the area will be provided at camp locations

Outdoor ice rink opens in the North Shuswap

Those looking to skate in the fresh air can do so at Farrell’s Field in Celista

Man admits responsibility for 2016 death of Shuswap motorcyclist

Brian Watson, 60, died after being struck while riding his motorcycle on Squilax-Anglemont Road

Super blood wolf moon fills Okanagan skies, to photographers’ delight

Photographers had a rare chance Sunday to capture a rare lunar eclipse

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Former Kelowna city manager downplays possible Costco move

Ron Mattiussi says if store leaves for Westside, another big box retailer will likely take the site

Most Read