Firefighters warn people about the dangers of walking on ice


VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT)– Many lakes and ponds that froze during the winter storm are now thawing out which could be very dangerous for any person or animal that steps onto one. This is exactly what has kept at least one local fire department very busy lately. The German Township Fire Department responded to two fire rescues within less than four hours Tuesday afternoon.

“We’ve got to problem solve fast to get to that dog,” Warren Miller describes the moments after watching his dog fall into a lake when brittle ice shattered. “It’s hard to get out in the middle of the lake and obviously you can’t put anybody’s life in danger.”

Miller said he had his daughter call 911 while he tried to get to his dog who was trapped in the water.

“The plan was to get on the boat and shimmy out there. If we didn’t have a boat than we would have been screwed without the volunteers,” explained Miller.

German Township Assistant Fire Chief Tamara Carr said Miller’s quick thinking was needed to make this a successful water rescue.

“Call 911 should be your absolute first measure. If you have a rope, our rule would be to throw that. Our rule is throw, row, go,” said Carr. If you don’t have any of these materials, it’s best to wait for help to arrive. Many fire departments train for such events. “We have specialized ice rescue suits that actually inflate with an amount of air, allow us to ride on the surface, kind of stay up in the water. It also keeps us warm.”

Since German Township firefighters were called to two separate water rescues in one day, they hope everyone stays off the melting ice, and this includes your furry friends.

“Dogs are just so special for a lot of people it’s their second children,” Carr said. “We are just really thankful how the outcome was yesterday for both instances. That it worked out in everyone’s favor yesterday.”

(This story was originally published on February 24, 2021)

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