Home Travel IdeasTravel Advice 5 Key Reasons Why Everyone Should Take an Ice Safety and Rescue Course

5 Key Reasons Why Everyone Should Take an Ice Safety and Rescue Course

by Jane Sophia
Ice Rescue

Year after year, we hear of ice-related deaths and near drownings. Many of these are snowmobile accidents on lakes and rivers. Pets can also fall through the ice and become trapped and are often rescued by their owners who drown trying to save them.

If you work on or around ice or support those who do, this industry-standard operations-level course is for you.

Increased Confidence

Ice rescue courses are a valuable learning experience for emergency first responders, industry and occupational workers that operate on or near frozen lakes or rivers, snowmobile operators, and hunters. The course covers the unique risks and hazards associated with ice work, determining ice strength, traveling on ice, self-rescue, and the full range of options for rescuing others who have fallen through the ice.

Survey the ice conditions, and remember that no ice is guaranteed safe; even clear hard ice can weaken at any time. Look for signs such as cracks, open water, slushy areas, depressions, and white “milky” or black-colored ice (frazzle ice, weakened by freeze-thaw cycles). If you go on the ice, always travel with a partner; let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Always carry a thermal protection buoyant suit and a personal safety kit.

Better Decision-Making

Working on or near ice and performing an ice rescue present unique hazards for first responders. This industry-standard operations-level course is designed for fire, SAR, EMS, law enforcement, and other personnel responding to or supporting ice-related incidents. Learn how to recognize and avoid hazards through site assessment, mitigation techniques, self-rescue, and partner rescue.

Rescuers must know how to judge ice conditions and the signs indicating unsafe ice. They will also be able to determine the best methods for approaching and rescuing a victim from an ice hole. The best way to prevent a fatal injury is to avoid the area if you notice the signs of unsafe ice: moving water, slushy areas, cracking or heaves in the ice, white “milky” ice, or frazzled ice with tiny air pockets.

Increased Safety

Ice safety is important for anyone who ventures onto a body of water to work, play, or rescue. It’s vital to remember that no ice is ever completely safe, even if it appears solid and clear. Ice strength and thickness can differ greatly from one spot to another. It’s important to always test the ice in multiple places, especially if traveling over it with a vehicle or ORV and traveling with a partner.

Field personnel performing their work or rescuing in an ice environment require special training and specialized equipment. This 2-day course is designed to teach them how to assess the hazards properly, identify ice formation, and determine ice strength, as well as self-rescue options and significant medical considerations for patient packaging and extrication if a victim falls through the ice.

Better Health

When you take an ice safety and rescue course, you learn how to avoid the risks associated with frozen water. This is important because many people, both humans, and animals, find themselves in trouble on unsafe ice.

In addition to learning about the importance of avoiding thin ice, you will also understand how to recognize the signs that the ice is beginning to break. You will learn to properly test the ice’s strength and practice self-rescue techniques in an insulated immersion suit. You’ll also understand the medical complications of cold water immersion and hypothermia. This is especially important for emergency responders who work in the ice environment.

Less Stress

Ice rescue training is essential for first responders who may need to venture onto or rescue someone from frozen bodies of water. It covers the specialized equipment and techniques used in these operations and medical considerations for cold-water immersion and hypothermia.

Studies show that a person has about an hour before they lose consciousness due to hypothermia. They may survive if they can swim or roll themselves onto the ice.

This is why taking an ice safety and rescue course is important for everyone. Fire crews working on frozen lakes and rivers, snowmobile owners, and even hunters spotting game from the ice all need this training. It teaches them how to identify the hazards, determine ice strength and participate in self and victim-rescue drills.


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