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Firefighters ready for ice rescues

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

They possess the equipment and know-how, but Denare Beach firefighters hope they'll never have to rescue someone who has fallen through a frozen lake surface. Recently, the firefighters conducted mock rescues on the mill stream in Denare Beach using their state-of-the-art ice rescue suits. "We haven't used the suits for a real rescue," said firefighter Doris Affolter. "We hope not to have to do that." The fire department owns two yellow ice rescue suits, which are light weight and feature built-in ice picks on the sleeves. Affolter said the suits are a must for a fire department operating in a region as rich in water as Denare Beach. "You're not cold while you're wearing them," she commented. "They're totally sealed, and you can stay in the water for quite some time. The only parts open are your nose and eyes." Mock rescues using the suits involve one firefighter posing as the victim while another steps onto the ice to rescue him or her. A team of firefighters stay on the shore, clinging to a rope buckled to the rescuer, and help pull the pair out. The fire department purchased the suits secondhand a few years ago. Brand new, the suits are priced in the $3,000 range. The Denare Beach Fire Department has a dozen members, including Fire Chief Garth Bullock. Anyone interested in joining may contact any member for more information.