SOUTHINGTON — Local firefighters trained for cold water rescues on Wednesday.
Deputy Fire Chief Scott DiBattista said nearly all firefighters will participate in the training over the next few days at a pond on Mandel Drive. Cold water rescues are considered to be a “low frequency, high risk” event, DiBattista said. He estimated there have been three in town in the past five years.
One of the more common types involves pets that have fallen through ice, DiBattista said. Sometimes owners will try to rescue a pet and end up in water as well.
Time is key in cold water rescues because hypothermia can occur within minutes, DiBattista said.
Firefighters wore specially-designed cold water rescue suits that kept them dry and warm while training. One played the role of a victim, floating in a hole cut into the ice, while other firefighters practiced rescue techniques, using flotation devices, rope systems, sled-like devices, and buoys.
Firefighter Dan Comen said the department evaluated some new equipment during Wednesday’s training session.
Firefighter Derek Dion, who experienced the training for the first time this year, said it was different than some of the other types of training he has done. He hasn’t responded to a cold water rescue yet, but after the training would feel more confident if one arises.
Read more articles like this and help support local journalism by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access just 99¢
Read more articles like this by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access for just 99¢