Franklin Grove crew trains or ice rescue

 In an emergency, the more training an EMT, Fire fighter or First Responder has, the better the chances for a positive end.

Several members of the Franklin Grove Fire Department recently participated in an ice rescue training night at a pond on the Lonnie Warrenfeltz farm. The drill had two victims in the water and two on the ice sled. The department has been trained in ice rescue for 15 – 20 years. They have answered one call regarding some ice fishermen on a toll-way pond. The call turned out to be a false alarm but gave the crew some good experience.

“There are 16 ponds or lakes in the Franklin Grove Fire Department District,” said Todd Hilliker. “We have never had to use the training we have, but it is a good thing to have. There are potentially four months out of the year that can produce ice rescue emergencies.”

The department has four of the special suits and one ice rescue sled. They try to have young members of the department trained for all types of emergency events. The suits are made of rubber neoprene and are buoyant in the water, therefore keeping the rescue workers warm and dry. The rescue worker and the ice sled are tethered to the shore at all times. The suits cost up to $1,000 each.

“When someone falls into the cold water, their body suffers shock to the point that they won’t have the strength to pull themselves out,” said Hilliker. “They essentially can’t function, that is why we deploy an ice sled with rescue workers to pull them out.”

The department hopes it never has to use its rescue equipment, but could also provide assistance to area departments in the event of an emergency. At the same time, area departments could also be called to assist with an emergency in the Franklin Grove Fire Department district.

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