During every winter season, the Sycamore Fire Department reviews and refreshes their ice rescue skills. This is a skill and procedure they hope to never use. With the number of static water sources in Sycamore, it is very important to be prepared.
Over three very cold days at Fire Station #2, crews donned and doffed the cold weather suits, reviewed the procedure to fill the Banana Boat with compressed air, reviewed the proper rope connections and hand signals, and reviewed boat rescue technique [photo gallery below].
To make sure you aren’t ever in need of rescue, here are some ice safety tips to help you avoid catastrophe:
1. Never go out on ice alone. A friend can help you out or alert authorities if something goes wrong.
2. Follow these ice thickness guidelines. Remember, ice is never 100% safe. Ice thickness can change very quickly.
2″ or less – STAY OFF!
4″ – Ice fishing or other activities on foot
5″ – Snowmobile or ATV
8″ – 12″ – Car or small pickup
12″ – 15″ – Medium truck
3. Purchase a flotation suit. If you fall through the ice, a flotation suit will keep you warm and make it easier to escape the frigid water.
4. Carry a pair of ice picks/rescue claws. Keep a pair of ice picks with you at all times. If you fall through the ice, ice picks make it possible for you to climb out.
5. Carry a throw rope.
6. Never go out on ice after dark.
7. Layer up. Choose the right number of layers, based on the temperature.