The Eighth Annual Ice Rescue Train-the-Trainer Academy graduated 18 new instructors over the weekend in New Hampshire. Instructor candidates from fire/rescue, EMS and law-enforcement agencies in six east and northeast states participated in the 3.5-day academy.
The academy, sponsored by Lifesaving Resources, will be featured in The Weather Channel’s On Thin Ice on Feb. 24. Reporter Julie Martin donned an ice-rescue suit, entered the icy water and then learned to self-extricate onto solid ice.
“We spend 15 hours in the classroom and 15 hours on the ice,” said Gerald Dworkin, a consultant with Aquatics Safety & Water Rescue.
The program begins on a Thursday with a session on hypothermia, followed by a session on ropes and knots. “Every skill and exercise on the ice requires ropes and knots, no matter how specialized the equipment,” Dworkin said. Sessions are divided between the classroom and hands-on of non-specialized equipment, specialized equipment and role-playing.
Classes also include the methodology of how to teach. “We spend three hours on the ice learning specifically how to conduct skill sessions and then practice teaching with small groups and multiple groups,” Dworkin said. Night operations are held with multiple-victim scenarios.
Successful candidates are certified as ice-rescue instructors and authorized to conduct ice rescue and awareness.
The next scheduled Train-the-Trainer Academy will be May 20– 23, at Keene State College in Keene, N.H.