Firefighters Practice Ice Rescue Skills in Berlin

This winter has already been deadly in Connecticut after a man fell through ice in Old Lyme recently, now experts are warning the recent warmup could create dangerous conditions.

On Monday training was underway for ice rescues that could help save someone’s life.

“Hypothermia sets in very quick. So it’s important to get right out there,” said Captain Jonn Massirio of the Berlin Fire Department.

Massirio and other volunteer firefighters headed to Silver Lake and also Paper Goods Pond in Berlin. Their mission was to help the pretend victims.

“We always like to talk to the victim first. Try to work them out. Sometimes the victims can self-rescue. They just need to calm down,” said Massirio.

If that doesn’t work they can throw a line to the victim.

“If all else fails, we’ll go out with our rescuers and then try to get them out of the water using our personnel. So that’s the last resort, obviously. We don’t like to put more people in the water,” said Massirio.

Rescues like this have already been needed this season in the state. About a week ago first responders rushed to save two men who went through the ice on Rogers Lake in Old Lyme. One man died and the other was hospitalized.

Back in Berlin, firefighters say it’s time to be especially cautious.

“With the changing temperatures, obviously watch the weather,” said Massirio.

Massiro tells us when ice first forms it’s clear and solid.

“If you notice the ice turning white from freezing and thawing and refreezing, then it’s going to be a lot weaker. So you want to be a lot more wary of going out in the varying temperatures,” said Massirio.

If you do fall in, experts suggest using your elbows to lift yourself up onto the ice and then kick with your legs to get your whole body out of the water. Then roll back to safety.

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