Cleveland fire, U.S. Coast Guard hold ice surface rescue training in bitter cold, wind advisory

Cleveland fire, U.S. Coast Guard hold ice surface rescue training in bitter cold, wind advisory
GF Default - Cleveland firefighters and U.S. Coast Guard practice ice surface rescue (snackable)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

“We don’t just fight fires,” Cleveland Chief of Fire Angelo Calvillo told reporters Wednesday morning while his firefighters donned ice suits preparing to practice ice water rescue.

About a dozen Cleveland firefighters gathered inside the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Cleveland to prep for the walk to the Rock & Dock North Coast Harbor Marina.

“We want to be able to respond, act quickly, act safely and get the help to the people that need it,” Executive Petty Officer, Chief Johnathon Lee said before joint training began.

U.S. Coast Guard & Cleveland Fire work together to develop ice surface rescue techniques

With temperatures hovering around 28 and a wind advisory in effect, the firefighters and Coast Guard personnel cut the ice and dropped into the freezing water to practice how to rescue someone, and save themselves.

“We try to do this annually, it’s our ice surface rescue class,” Cleveland firefighter Paul Legeza said. “We are going to practice a couple different scenarios where we have victims in the water.”

The suits worn by the firefighters and the Coast Guard provide buoyancy to keep rescuers floating on the surface.

“Just in case somebody needs help on Lake Erie,” Calvillo said, “we provide the service to save lives.”

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