Firefighters receive ice-rescue training
By Heidi Hunt, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 25, 2010
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
Whiteman firefighters trained new additions at the base lake during January's frigid weather, here, to certify and prepare them for emergencies on ice and cold-water rescue.
"This is great training that a lot of the firefighters haven't had, and we are focused on getting 100-percent personnel trained," said Rick Stroud, 509th Civil Engineer Squadron lead firefighter. "Any specialized training we can get really benefits Whiteman as well as the department."
Firefighters take advantage of the cold weather during the winter months when there is ice over the base lake to train according to Mr. Stroud.
"Each shift, we try to go out to the base lake and train about two or three times a year," Mr. Stroud said.
According to Mr. Stroud, firefighters are initially trained in a classroom environment and cover the material before they are brought out to the stalls.
"We go over all the tools and equipment that is necessary for that type of emergency," Mr. Stroud said. "Then, we'll take everyone out to the base lake and prepare them to go into the ice.
"We have suits we use to go into 'pretty much' any type of cold water." Mr. Stroud said. "It keeps us dry and warm for a certain amount of time."
Team Whiteman members are encouraged to be safe when around the base lake.
"If someone witnesses a person or animal going into the cold water or ice, don't try and go after them, because it could make one victim into multiple," Mr. Stroud said. "Citizens should call 911, and a specialized team will be sent out."