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Loveland-Symmes Fire Department practicing for ice rescues

Posted at 7:09 AM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 07:09:38-05

SYMMES TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- With the mild temperatures this week, snow and ice aren't even on our radar, but it's top of mind for local fire crews training for winter weather.

The Loveland-Symmes Fire Department conducted ice rescue training at the Home of the Brave Park in Symmes Township on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

During the training, rescuers wore dry suits to protect them from the water, where they put a floating plank of wood to simulate ice. Crews say it works well because it replicates the level ice would be floating at and it's unstable -- like the ice.

RELATED: Hamilton County firefighters training for busy winter season

Capt. Bruce Hawk said ice rescues don't happen often, but they're high risk, so they have to be prepared for all scenarios. 

"Our first thing is going to be to try to coach the person up on to the ice shelf and if they're able to get themselves off, that would be best case scenario," Hawk said. "Next, we would reach for them. If time allows, we would try to reach for them or use some sort of rope ot throw to them, and if that doesn't work, we'll take an inflatable boat out on to the ice shelf, or we'll send a person out tied to a rope to rescue that person if it's a time-critical event."

Two young boys fell through the ice last year in Brown County while trying to save their family dog. Neighbors were able to fashion a makeshift buoy to rescue those boys from the life-or-death situation.

First responders stressed never going onto ice to retrieve a pet. They said to call 911 so crews can come out to rescue them.