This winter the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department’s Water Rescue Team has been busy formalizing training for ice rescue incidents. With the recent purchase of ice rescue related equipment, and supported by trainers with the U.S. Coast Guard, Toledo Station, our water rescue team has moved from the confines of the pool to the ice near the bay and the Coast Guard Station.

Techniques for rescue and retrieval of victims was made more realistic by introducing similar conditions to which they would be exposed during an actual incident involving a victim through the ice. 

Members practiced with different tools including the R.D.C., Rapid Deployment Craft, Cold Water Rescue Sling, Shepherd’s Crook,  and throw lines.  Outfitted in Ice Rescue Suits, rescuers are protected from the extreme cold by this waterproof suit which includes a flotation and insulation liner. This suit allows the wearer to be immersed for long periods of time in icy waters while maintaining mental and physical capabilities normally lost to hypothermia.