LOUISVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – Although it’s still the middle of winter, the warm temperatures can thaw Colorado lakes and firefighters are preparing for the worst.
Rocky Mountain Fire and Louisville firefighters completed their final ice rescue training of 2015 on Sunday at Harper Lake in Louisville on Sunday.
Firefighters assessed each scenario before deciding the best course of action, which depended on how far the victims were from shore and their condition.
“There’s kind of this little rhyme out there — ‘reach, throw, row, go,’ ” Griff Jones with Rocky Mountain Fire said.
Go is what the firefighters practice for, where firefighters wear protective suits and physically pull victims from the water.
“Managing a rope on the ice before you get in the water can save you tons of time,” Jones said.
Jones organized the joint training. He says this time of year is especially dangerous.
“It’s winter, but people don’t realize we’ve had these warm days with a little breeze, the ice softening, the whole ice sheet becoming thinner,” he said.
Jones says never try to rescue someone if they are out of reach — just call 911.
“If someone fell in right close to the shore you could use a ladder or a pike pull,” he said.
He added that especially right now, walking on seemingly frozen ice is not a good idea, as what lies beneath is a mystery.
“The ice is changing basically everyday.”