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Breaking the ice: Base, local fire departments train for winter water rescues

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight practice using a rapid deployment craft in order to perform “rescues” during training at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. Although a team of two is on thecraft, there’s still a four-to five-man team on the ice nearby ready to pull them back to safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight practice using a rapid deployment craft in order to perform “rescues” during training at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. Although a team of two is on thecraft, there’s still a four-to five-man team on the ice nearby ready to pull them back to safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight practice ice water rescue techniques at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. One of the techniques practiced did not require the firefighter to get into thewater with the person they wished to save. This is one way that the rescuer is able to not only maintain their own safety but also control the situation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight practice ice water rescue techniques at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. One of the techniques practiced did not require the firefighter to get into thewater with the person they wished to save. This is one way that the rescuer is able to not only maintain their own safety but also control the situation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight take turns saving each other in the icy water at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. This particular save required the rescuer to secure the patron to the boardbefore signaling the team to pull them out of the water. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight take turns saving each other in the icy water at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. This particular save required the rescuer to secure the patron to the boardbefore signaling the team to pull them out of the water. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight practice performing an ice rescue at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. While one Airman goes into the water to rescue the patron, it takes a team workingtogether to successfully perform an ice water rescue. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight practice performing an ice rescue at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. While one Airman goes into the water to rescue the patron, it takes a team workingtogether to successfully perform an ice water rescue. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Hunter Harlan, a Rapid City Fire Department ice rescue instructor, demonstrates how to save someone who has fallen into ice water at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The instructors stressed the importance of not only keepingcalm during an ice water emergency but also making sure the rescuers protect themselves and control the situation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Hunter Harlan, a Rapid City Fire Department ice rescue instructor, demonstrates how to save someone who has fallen into ice water at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The instructors stressed the importance of not only keepingcalm during an ice water emergency but also making sure the rescuers protect themselves and control the situation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

An Airman from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight inserts an ice screw at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The screws are used for running safety lines for rescuers as well as anchors for other safetyequipment, like ladders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

An Airman from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight inserts an ice screw at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The screws are used for running safety lines for rescuers as well as anchors for other safetyequipment, like ladders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Brian Povandra, a Rapid City Fire Department ice rescue instructor, holds up a fragment of ice from the lake to show Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight the thickness of the ice they were standing on at CanyonLake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The thickness of the ice on the lake that day ranged from 2 to 10 inches. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Brian Povandra, a Rapid City Fire Department ice rescue instructor, holds up a fragment of ice from the lake to show Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight the thickness of the ice they were standing on at CanyonLake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The thickness of the ice on the lake that day ranged from 2 to 10 inches. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Hunter Harlan, a Rapid City Fire Department ice rescue instructor, demonstrates how a person can be saved should they become the victim of an ice water accident at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The instructors stressedthe importance of not only keeping calm during an ice water emergency but also making sure the rescuers protect themselves. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Hunter Harlan, a Rapid City Fire Department ice rescue instructor, demonstrates how a person can be saved should they become the victim of an ice water accident at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The instructors stressedthe importance of not only keeping calm during an ice water emergency but also making sure the rescuers protect themselves. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight shuffle onto the ice to get hands-on experience with ice rescue at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. Beneath the ice where they trained was about 5-7 feetof water; however, Canyon Lake has areas that reach up to twice that depth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight shuffle onto the ice to get hands-on experience with ice rescue at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. Beneath the ice where they trained was about 5-7 feetof water; however, Canyon Lake has areas that reach up to twice that depth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight don Mustang Ice Commander suits before heading out on the ice at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The suits are made of durable urethane-coated nylon shelland a removable buoyancy liner, which provides additional thermal protection. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)
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Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight don Mustang Ice Commander suits before heading out on the ice at Canyon Lake in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The suits are made of durable urethane-coated nylon shelland a removable buoyancy liner, which provides additional thermal protection. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight learn the principles of ice rescue in the Rapid City Fire Department’s classroom in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. Before heading out to Canyon Lake, Airmen learned aboutthe different tools and correct procedures needed to perform an ice rescue. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)
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Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight learn the principles of ice rescue in the Rapid City Fire Department’s classroom in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. Before heading out to Canyon Lake, Airmen learned aboutthe different tools and correct procedures needed to perform an ice rescue. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight learn the fundamentals of ice rescue at the Rapid City Fire Department in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The class is offered annually to all firefighting agencies interestedin attending the course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)
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Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight learn the fundamentals of ice rescue at the Rapid City Fire Department in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 12, 2019. The class is offered annually to all firefighting agencies interestedin attending the course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michella Stowers)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight practiced life-saving techniques alongside Black Hills firefighters during a three-day ice water rescue training event. Hosted by the Rapid City Fire Department, initial training began in their station’s classroom, after which the group traveled to Canyon Lake in Rapid City for hands-on experience. The training was meant to provide firefighters with the knowledge and skills necessary to keep themselves and others safe in the event of an ice water emergency.

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