Ice rescue is serious business. And because hypothermia sets in quickly after someone enters frigid water, the danger to human life is very real. There haven't been many such incidents on the peninsula, but that doesn’t mean that the Port Washington's bravest aren't prepared, said local Fire Chief Tom McDonough.
On Sunday, eight members from the participated in the second installment of a two-day New York State certified ice rescue course on Mill Pond. Other members included two from the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department, and from the South Shore. It was a 16-hour course that involved eight hours of classroom training on Saturday, six hours of training on Mill Pond on Sunday, followed by a written test.
The course will serve to develop the skill sets of local emergency rescue workers to be part of a North Shore rescue team that would respond to calls even outside of Port Washington as needed.
Opportunities in the region for ice rescue training is limited – depending on the ice and availability of instructors. But that doesn't seem to make the training any less a priority.
“We’ll be working with our juniors in a coupe of weeks,” McDonough said. That way younger members of the department “get familiar with our equipment.”