Firefighters conduct cold water rescue training |

Firefighters conduct cold water rescue training

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Firefighters got an early jump on annual cold water rescue training at the Tahoe Keys this week.

The training is typically conducted just before spring when ice is beginning to melt, but conditions were right for the training to move forward Friday, said Sallie Ross-Filgo, administrative assistant to the fire chief, in an email.

“Each year, the firefighters go out to Tahoe Keys Marina when the ice is in the process of melting, in order to train in case of a need for a real ice rescue,” Ross-Filgo said. “They use a special rescue board called a Holmatro Rescue Board…they get down on their stomachs and paddle out to the victim…then they sit up in front of the board and pull the victim up on to the board on the victim’s back. Then they are both pulled in to safety on their backs.”

Firefighters train for cold water rescues each year so everyone at the department feels comfortable during a real life emergency, Ross-Filgo said.

“It can be very difficult, because usually the patient is very scared and flailing their arms, making it very dangerous for the 1st responders,” Ross-Filgo added.

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