Author Topic: What do I do if someone falls through?  (Read 18738 times)

Offline kpd145

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Re: What do I do if someone falls through?
« Reply #30 on: Jan 26, 2022, 03:36 PM »
I've been a member of a Rescue Squad for about 17 years and have been involved in ice rescue for about 15 of them years. The #1 thing to remember is safety. Under no situation should a rescuer go out on the ice without a flotation device.
There are far more would be rescuers drowned each year, then initial victims, in the United States. This is a fact!!

The first thing you want to do as a would be rescuer is to get boyancy to the victim. While doing this talk to the victim, calm them and reassure them that help is on the way. There are many things that can float, be inventive (ie. bucket seats with snap on lids, rear car seats, spare tires, ect.) Remember you want to get something to the victim that they can wrap there arms around. Fingers and your grip tend to lose strength and dwindle rapidly in cold/wet winter weather. This makes grabbing things almost next to inpossible after the fist few minutes. When sliding these items out to the victim always do so from the side. This eliminates the possibility of the ice breaking loose where the victim is holding on. Always talk to the victim, let them know what you are doing.

If a rope is avalible tie a loop in it and throw it to the victim. Always tie a loop in the rope before throwing it. The victim probably will not be able to grasp it or tie it on themselves.

After the victim is stable get REAL HELP!!!! Get the people with the equipment and know how to do the rescue. You donot want to pull the person on the ice or have themselves do this. The area is probably weakend which could make them fall through again. They would also be expending valuable energy that is needed to keep there body warm.

When your thinking about going out on the ice to rescue someone, remeber that even trained rescuers use the motto throw, row, then go. The last resort is to go out to the victim in person. This increases the danger to both the victim and rescuer.

I could go on for hours, I'll quit here. As a would be rescuer just remeber the basics. Never go on the ice without a floatation device, stabilize the victim, get help rapidly. Always talk to the victim, be calming, reassuring, and informative of the situation.


Went through Ice rescue years ago, this brings back memories.

I have a heavy rope, it has a large boot loop at one end and then I tied other loops starting at 3 feet, 4 feet and 5 feet above the boot loop. this helps gets an arm or hand into another loop (again because of loss of hand strength). I also have a few other on the other end for rescuers to get hands onto to add more pulling strength

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, "Wow! What a RIDE!"--Hunter S. Thompson


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