The Harwich Fire Department took advantage of the cold, clear weather on Saturday to practice ice rescue drills on Bucks Pond. According to an HFD release, all firefighters are trained for ice rescues, a skill the department hopes they never have to use.
Natural ice, including ice on ponds and lakes and in ocean harbors, is unpredictable and can be unsafe, even after a deep freeze. HFD reminds everybody to never go on the ice alone and to never let your dog out on the ice. Many ice emergencies begin with a dog on the ice and the owner following, according to HFD.
If you, a friend or a pet goes through the ice, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to rescue your own pet or another person.
According to the Massachusetts Public Safety website, half of all drowning victims die from hypothermia, not water in the lungs.
In addition to the helpful tips from HFD, MEMA warns people to watch for slush (a danger sign) and to beware of ice covered in snow.
Download the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services Ice and Cold Water Safety brochure here.
(Lt. Leighanne Deering--on the ice--and Firefighter Jason Boyne--in the water--practice ice rescue drills on Bucks Pond in Harwich Saturday. Harwich Fire Department photo.)