First responders prepare for frozen lake emergencies

RAPID CITY, S.D – For many South Dakotans winters consist of ice fishing, four wheeling, and ice skating over frozen bodies of water. Unfortunately, if you are not properly informed on safety, these activities can be dangerous.

So far a handful of people in Rapid City have fallen through frozen lakes and ponds this winter season. 

Pennington county fire took to the frigid waters to do ice rescue training. Ice Rescue instructor, Brian Povandra explained why this training is crucial.

“Already within the last couple of months, we had a couple of guys walking across one of the ponds here in town that fell through. Our engine companies and our rescue companies were able to get both of those guys out, ” said Povandra.

They practiced towing, back boarding, and overall ice safety.

Four inches of new, clear, hard ice is the minimum recommendation for recreational activities on frozen ponds and lakes in order to prevent a life-threatening accident.

Depending on the weather conditions, water temperatures can fall dangerously low causing hypothermia to set it quickly. Blood pressure will drop, nerves can be damaged, and the victim may quickly become incapacitated.

In the instance that you witness someone falling through a frozen body of water, you want to contact emergency personnel immediately. Keep a close eye on the victim but do not attempt to get them out on your own.

Once emergency personnel arrives at the scene, you may want to give them important information, such as the amount of time the victim has been in the water. 

Before going out for your winter hobby, just keep in mind these precautions.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News