MORRISON, Colo. (CBS4) – This is the time of year when firefighters get calls to rescue both people and pets after falling through the ice on lakes and ponds. In the past week there have been several rescues of dogs that fell through.
That’s why the West Metro Fire Dive Team took a plunge into Soda Lake near Morrison Monday morning to train. Tim Felton is an Engineer and says West Metro gets a lot of calls for rescue on the ice.
“Dogs going out, people going out to rescue them and they fall in,” Felton said.
Firefighters say part of their training simply focuses on getting their bodies acclimated to the cold water. Even with waterproof suits, the chill can still be felt, especially on their hands and feet.
According to divers, ice rescues require a unique set of skills.
“The challenge with ice, we’re not able to come straight up if we have a problem because we do have that shelf above us,” Lt. Ben Tennessen said.
During the training, divers are hooked to a rope in case they need to be pulled back to shore. The diver is given direction from the shore and communicates with land crews. The visibility, at best, is up to 10 feet.