Wednesday afternoon Cochrane Fire Services took to the Sunset Ridge storm pond to run through ice rescue training.

“The training piece is done at least once per year,” says Jared Wallace, Deputy Fire Chief with Cochrane Fire Service. “It's actually best to do ice rescue training in the spring because the ice is quite unstable and it replicates the typical ice conditions you might get when someone does, unfortunately, fall through the ice.”

With spring temperatures rolling into Cochrane, all outdoor ice surfaces are now closed in town. Wallace is asking everyone to stay clear as the danger of falling through is high and an ice rescue is no small feat.

“It's extremely challenging to do so for several reasons. I think the most obvious would be simply because of the temperature of the water that you may fall into, but it's also, of course, very slippery when you're trying to get out. So it is quite challenging to do unless you've been trained and have the proper equipment, which of course the firefighters have.”

“Although the firefighters are wearing cold water immersion suits, which is like an insulated dry suit. It's fine for them to be in the water for a few minutes but even with all that gear on, after a few minutes, it does get quite cold.”

He says if community members ever see anyone in danger, to call 911 immediately. 

“Please don't attempt to rescue anyone in the water. Make sure you leave it to the professionals who are trained and suited for these types of events.”