Ice is never 100% safe, firefighters warn

  • Countryside Fire Protection District fire medics Dan Loeschen, in yellow suit, and Rob Elkins practice ice rescue techniques Friday.

    Countryside Fire Protection District fire medics Dan Loeschen, in yellow suit, and Rob Elkins practice ice rescue techniques Friday. Courtesy of Countryside Fire Protection District

  • Ice training exercises were held Friday by members of the Countryside Fire Protection District.

    Ice training exercises were held Friday by members of the Countryside Fire Protection District. Courtesy of Countryside Fire Protection District

  • A graphic provided by the Countryside Fire Protection District shows ice thickness guidelines.

    A graphic provided by the Countryside Fire Protection District shows ice thickness guidelines. Courtesy of Countryside Fire Protection District

 
 
Updated 1/22/2021 5:42 PM

Personnel with the Countryside Fire Protection District spent three days this week on Lake Firethorn in Vernon Hills practicing techniques to rescue victims who have fallen through ice.

Crews test their equipment during rescue training every year, and they have some tips for the public.

 

Fire Chief Chuck Smith said that if someone has fallen through the ice, you should first call 911 and then, if possible without putting yourself in danger, reach out with a long pole or ladder.

"Throw a rope or cord to the person while keeping your distance from the compromised ice," Smith added.

Smith said pets should be leashed, as many people become victims when trying to rescue a pet that ran out on the ice and fell through.

"We always want people to know that ice is never 100% safe, and thickness can vary greatly over different bodies of water," said Smith.

Minimum guidelines for ice thickness are 4 inches for an individual and 5 to 7 inches for snowmobiles.

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