Center Moriches Firefighters Attend Ice Rescue Training
By Company One Captain Bill Renzetti
January 23, 2022

This weekend seven members of the Center Moriches Fire Departments Water Rescue Team traveled to the Bayport Fire Department for a two-day ice rescue training class. The training was led by Lifeguard Systems a recognized leader in water and flood water rescue training.

The first day of training was classroom based. Firefighters learned about the effects of hypothermia, reviewed ropes and knots and practiced self-rescue and victim rescue techniques.

Day two, firefighters took to the icy waters at Camp Edey in Bayport. Firefighters reviewed safety measures before donning special “exposure” suits that enable responders to enter frigid waters for a rescue.

In addition to the suit training, firefighters also trained on a variety of equipment including a special “sled” that firefighters use to move safely across the ice. The sled also helps remove a victim off the ice and transport them to the shore.

This type of technical rescue training is invaluable and ensures our water rescue team is ready for any emergency involving our local waterways and ponds.

The Center Moriches Fire Department offers the following ice safety tips:

General Ice and Cold-Water Safety:

• Never go onto the ice alone. A friend may be able to rescue you or go for help if you fall through the ice.

• Always keep your pets on a leash. If a pet falls through the ice do not attempt a rescue. Call 911 instead.

• New ice is usually stronger than old ice. As the ice ages, the bond between the crystals decay, making it weaker, even if melting has not occurred.

• Beware of ice covered with snow. Snow can insulate ice and keep it strong but can also insulate it to keep it from freezing.

• Slush is a danger sign, indicating that ice is no longer freezing from the bottom and can be weak or deteriorating.

• Ice seldom freezes or thaws at a uniform rate. It can be six inches thick in one spot and be only one inch thick 10 feet away.

What To Do If Someone Falls Through Ice:

• If someone falls through the ice and you are unable to reach that person from shore, throw them something (rope, jumper cables, tree branch, etc.) If this does not work dial 911 immediately.

• If you fall in yourself, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface and start kicking your feet to push yourself forward onto the ice. Once out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand) and roll away from the hole.

• Crawl back to your tracks, keeping your weight distributed until you return to solid ice.

If you have any questions, call the Center Moriches Fire Department at 631-878-0089.

If you feel that someone may be in danger, dial 911.