Coast Guard Station Milwaukee conducts ice rescue training with partner agencies

Members from Coast Guard Station Milwaukee and local first responders prepare to conduct ice rescue training in Milwaukee, Feb. 28, 2016. The purpose of this training is for local agencies involved in ice rescue to collaborate and to identify practices used by partner agencies during ice rescue emergencies. (Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Tom Morrell)

Members from Coast Guard Station Milwaukee and local first responders prepare to conduct ice rescue training in Milwaukee, Feb. 28, 2016. (Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Tom Morrell)

MILWAUKEE — Coast Guard Station Milwaukee conducted joint ice rescue training with local agencies in Milwaukee Sunday.

The Coast Guard conducted ice rescue training with members from emergency management agencies across Wisconsin and eight local fire departments at Discovery World Lagoon.

The purpose of this training is for local agencies involved in ice rescue to collaborate and to identify practices used by partner agencies during ice rescue emergencies. The goal is to facilitate these partnerships, enhance communications among all agencies and ensure the proper execution of the ice rescue mission.

“This training is a great opportunity for all agencies who respond to ice rescues cases to discuss the most updated rescue techniques while at the same time developing strong working relationships with each other,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Joel Washbond, a member of Coast Guard Station Milwaukee.

The training was held over a two-day period at Coast Guard Station Milwaukee and on the ice. The first day included classroom training for all agencies to discuss the gear and techniques being used in the field as well as ice technique training. Day two culminated with departments conducting ice rescues in the frozen water.

“The scenario-based training is a great chance to put all of the skills of the rescuers to the test in a real-life environment and it gives the responders a chance to actually know what it feels like for the victims they are trying to assist,” said Washbond.

The Coast Guard reminds all mariners of the dangers of ice and cold water. Ice on Lake Michigan and inland waterways is unpredictable and dangerous, and ice thickness can vary even in a small area. Outdoor enthusiasts should only go out on the ice if they are appropriately dressed for a potential fall through and are physically capable of self-rescue.

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