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Fire and ice

Fire crew participates in ice rescue training

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News from Chief Cliff Volunteer Fire Department

Firefighters are often the first responders to any local emergency, and from November through March those emergencies frequently take place on ice. Whether called to respond to a wreck on an icy road, a slip and fall on a homeowner’s driveway, or a frigid dip in a half-frozen lake, firefighters are trained for emergencies and usually the first on the scene. That’s why winter training—in frigid water capped with several inches of ice—is the best way to develop familiarity with the tools required for ice rescue and the skills needed to be successful.

The Chief Cliff Volunteer Fire Department and QRU underwent an ice training exercise on Saturday, March 3, under the supervision of Captain Drew Hoel of the Polson Rural Fire Department. Rick and Judy Cothern hosted the event at their Lake Mary Ronan home, providing a warm and inviting space for “classroom” instruction prior to the hands-on training in frigid water. A majority of Chief Cliff responders, along with several members of Polson Rural, attended the training and all members eagerly participated. “I’ve had ice training before,” said Sigurd Jensen, CCVFD President, “but you always learn something new. It’s a lot of fun,” he said, “and you can never be too prepared.”   

The Chief Cliff VFD/QRU has ice rescue dry suits for emergency use, and will be purchasing self-tapping ice anchors, and a premade harness from donated funds to enhance their ice rescue capabilities.  Anyone interested in joining the CCVFD/QRU, or donating funds to assist with the various projects the fire department has in the works to benefit the Chief Cliff Fire Service Area, should contact Zoe at 406-849-5917.

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