CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – A lot of people in the Valley like to spend time on the ice during winter, whether it’s for ice skating or ice fishing.
Canfield’s fire department spent Saturday training for the worst case scenario out on the ice — people stranded and in need of a rescue.
Because Canfield has over 170 bodies of water, winter poses a significant threat if the ice isn’t thick enough when the water freezes.
“Pets like to go on them, deer like to go on them, kids like to play on them,” said Cardinal Joint Fire District Deputy Chief Matt Rarick.
After one ice rescue without gear, the department realized things had to change.
“Incident a few years ago where we had to help rescue a dog off the ice. The owners were trying to go in the water after them, which usually happens,” Rarick said.
So, the department bought four brand new ice rescue suits.
Saturday, the whole team went to Mill Creek Park to test them out.
“Once you get proficient, you need to keep training and training more on it so you’re able to do it in an emergency efficiently,” Rarick said.
Firefighters say they hope they’ll never have to rescue someone stranded in ice, but in the meantime, trainings like this one help them stay ready.
“Not only is this safer for the community ’cause we can rescue them quickly, it’s also safer for our crews which we look out for. We don’t want to put them in a situation where they’re doing a rescue where they’re not safe,” Rarick said.