Members of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services got to practice ice rescue techniques at Idlewild Lake this week. Trevor Crawley photo.

Members of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services got to practice ice rescue techniques at Idlewild Lake this week. Trevor Crawley photo.

Firefighters train for ice rescue

Local emergency personnel get hands-on experience at Idlewild Lake.

Members of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services got the chance to simulate ice rescue scenarios at Idlewild Lake on Wednesday.

Geared up in dry suits off the shore of the lake, firefighters ran through different situations to rescue people and animals that had fallen through the ice.

“Obviously we do a lot of training for ice rescue this time of year,” said D’Arcy Kennedy, training coordinator with the CFES. “We can do dry-land training — working with the ropes, setting up the boats, putting on the suits, going through the procedures — but at the end of the day, there’s no substitution for actually being on live ice conditions.

“The big thing for us is we need thin, thin ice for our training because traditionally, that’s when we’re going to break through.”

If someone falls through the ice, Kennedy says, on average, they have one minute in the water to control their breathing, 10 minutes of energy to self rescue and pull themselves out, and one hour before going unconscious.

If you fall through the ice and can’t pull yourself out, spread your arms wide on the ice shelf to freeze in place, he says.

Rescuing someone who has fallen through ice can be dangerous.

If a child or a pet falls through the ice, a parent or adult would instinctually try to rescue them. But tragic circumstances can result if the parent or adult also breaks through the ice during a rescue attempt.

Ice rescue is just another skill set that the modern firefighter is required to have, said Kennedy.

“You have to be a jack of many trades to be in the fire service now and ice rescue is just another one of those trades we have to be really proficient at,” he said.

Specifically for Idlewild Lake, Kennedy recommends checking the City of Cranbrook website, which provides updates on the ice thickness and when it is safe to break out the skates.

“We are four seasons and more and more people are involved in the outdoors and with revitalization of the Idlewild Park and with the dam, I think you’re going to see more and more young families using it,” Kennedy said.

“The ice, when it’s the right thickness is perfectly safe. Its at the beginning of the season and at the end of the season, that’s when you have to be cautious.”

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read