Rescue training: Ice, ice, baby

Cross-posted from the Sheriff’s newsletter

Recently, the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Marine Rescue Dive Unit (MRDU)  participated in a joint training day with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Dive unit. The training was specific to Ice Rescue and Ice Diving operations and took place at Fish Lake in Chelan County. 

Outside temperatures during the day were in the twenties, water temperature was 34 degrees Fahrenheit and safety was the biggest aspect of this training. Ice thickness was up to 12 inches in places and conditions were very cold. In spite of the frozen training ground, with the proper gear and equipment the day went well.

This training was specific to this type of rescue. In case there would be a call about a person falling through thin ice, KCSO can respond confidently in an appropriate and safe manner.

Snohomish County conducted SCUBA diving operations while the MRDU concentrated on a surface rescue on the ice.  Both agencies have worked together in the past and will continue to meet up periodically for training opportunities to maintain interoperability readiness.

Training topics and exercises that were covered included proper equipment, environmental concerns, scene size up, medical considerations post incident, cold water shock and hypothermia, safety on the ice, ice anchors, and chain saw activities. Incident command considerations were also discussed.

There were a total of 22 Deputies and Sergeants from both agencies participating. The exercise was considered a great success and the teams look forward the training again next year.