Accidents can occur at any time of day or night especially in adverse conditions. The likelihood of accidents occurring during icy weather conditions is very high. An average of over one hundred thousand injuries due to dangerous icy conditions are reported annually and are a leading cause of car accidents. The midwest plains states have the highest number of fatalities due to adverse icy conditions. Prior to the cold winter months, rescue responders will start getting prepared for inevitable rescue missions they will have to endure by conducting ice rescue demonstrations and practices. Proper training must be done each year in order to set responders up for seasonal success. Annual ice rescue drills ensure that responders are kept current of the latest rescue gear and techniques. Here is a list of rescue gear that could possibly save your life in the event of an ice related accident.
1. Reach Pole
A reach pole can be used for both on shore rescue missions as well as on the ice rescue instances. This is a long pole that can be extended out to a victim in hopes that they can reach the pole, grab on and hold on until a responder is able to pull them ashore or on to a boat. Reach poles can extend up to seven feet. Quality reach poles will have a loop at the end for the victim to easily grab a hold of during rescue. Another key feature is to have an ice probe on one end that may help to break up ice in order to free a victim from being trapped. Reflectors are also a nice feature to have as they make it easier for the victim to see the pole in the dark.
2. Throw Bag
A responder must always toss out a throw bag to an ice rescue victim as soon as they can. Since the victim has been exposed to freezing water temperatures, they often find it difficult to move, much less swim, when they are submerged in ice. In order to prevent the victim from drowning since they are not able to swim effectively, throwing a floatation device to them quickly is imperative. A throw bag is one of the most important tools a rescue team should have on hand.
3. Transport Sled
A transport sled is also a very important and effective tool to have in your ice rescue equipment. A transport sled helps in aiding the victim out of the icy water especially if they have been immobilized by hypothermia. It allows the rescuer to slide across the ice to the victim and then help them both back on to the ice.
You can get all of the above ice rescue gear and more at Ice Rescue Systems. The specialize in and provide professional ice rescue equipment for first responders. They also offer training programs and other resources for your ice rescue team. For more information on the quality safety products and training programs they offer, please contact Ice Rescue Systems.