When the winter months roll around, we all know being out on the water or ice can be very dangerous, even deadly, in fact and public safety officials were out on the water today practicing for an ice rescue. Reporter Lauren Minor joined them to see what happens during one of these emergencies …
“The moment you actually fall in, you get in such a temperature shock,” says Director of Marketing and Sales at Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc., Filip Przybysz.
It can happen in a matter of seconds. You’re walking along and the ice breaks.
Filip Przybysz played the victim in Saturday’s demonstration of an ice rescue. Even though it was all for practice, he got to experience what it is like when falling into cold water: “As soon as you get out, I think your body heats up so fast, that’s when I was laying on the stretcher, I was shaking a little bit, but then I was told I was actually feeling warm.”
Rescuers say the most important thing is to keep moving so your body doesn’t stiffen up.
“I was actually okay, and the rescuers told me it was actually a fake perception because you wouldn’t go into hypothermia without knowing that,” said Przybysz
If you’re ever out on the ice, ice picks are a good thing to keep with you; that way if you do fall in, you can use the picks to pull yourself out.
"I equate it to like shooting a basketball, if you only shoot ten shots a month that's all the better you will ever be. So you have to practice with it to become proficient with it," says Fire Chief Mike Ellis of the White River Hazleton Fire Department.
Hovercraft can play a key role in ice rescue safety: they can get onto the ice and to the victim quickly and safely.
"The adrenaline kicks in and so does the training, and you do what you have been training to do all along," says Steve Stafford from Project H.E.R.O.
Steve Stafford also assisted with the rescue. [As a flight instructor with Hovercraft Training Centers] he travels all over to train with departments who have ice rescuers. "We have been asked to go to Kentucky, Ohio, to assist and basically if we get a hurricane or a request we will do our best to respond there also."
Ice rescuing may not happen too often in southern Indiana, but when it does, they have to be ready.
The hovercraft that were used by the Perry Clear Creek and the White River Township and Hazleton Fire Unit today, were actually created right here in Terre Haute at Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.