Ice Training is On – Get on your SUITS!

The temperatures in Northern Ohio and other parts of the country have been cold enough to give us some ice for training. This is just a quick post with a few reminders and ideas for training. REMEMBER: (1) Reach, Throw, Row, Go.

Time is of the essence when someone is in the water. I am not going to get all hypothermic and EMS protocol on you, so I trust you get the idea. (2) Wear and take the gear you need; ice awls, throw bags, radio, whistle, flashlights, strobes, sled (Marsars, homemade?, jon boat), something to reach with (pike pole, Marsars Reach Pole, ladder, inflatable fire hose). (3) Make sure you have adequate resources coming (FD, mutual aid FD’s, USCG, as an example the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has ice rescue capabilities in our area, air boats?, helicopter, warm shelter).


• Review your ice rescue SOP’s.
• Review equipment. Any changes in locations or new purchases?
• Find some ice and get in the suits. For company drills maintain two in – two out.
• For larger trainings; set up simulated rescues, perfect equipment usage, and practice verbal and nonverbal communications

Below is a link to a video from the other day on just over 1″ of ice.

It is a perfect example of why it is important to spread out on the ice. It is also important to “go through the ice” in training, so you can practice self-extrication. Do you have ice awls in each suit? Can you kick out without the ice awls? Remember to roll toward more solid ice once out of the water.


trapped on ice ice and water rescue