Boulder Firefighters Practice Rescues in Frigid Waters

The Boulder Fire Department responds to at least 10 calls a year involving dogs and cold water or ice, and every engine company within the department is capable of performing an ice rescue, reports dailycamera.com.

Recently, shifts of firefighters took turns rescuing a dog — a plush Dalmatian named Spot the department began using last year — and the two submerged individuals, who were played by other firefighters in bright yellow water-rescue suits, in the icy waters of KOA Lake near the southeast corner of Valmont Road and 57th Street

Jeremy Felix, a firefighter and member of the water-rescue team, said it’s a common misconception that emergency personnel won’t respond if a dog gets stranded on ice or falls into an icy pond.

The fire department runs emergent, meaning with lights and sirens, to all “dog in icy water” calls because they know how dog owners think.

“We know that people are going to go out after their dogs,” Felix said.

The department responds to at least 10 calls a year involving dogs and cold water or ice, and every engine company within the department is capable of performing an ice rescue, Felix said.

If human fall into icy water, which is just above freezing, they become hypothermic relatively quickly, Felix said. He added that once the fire department responds, the first priority will be rescuing any humans on the ice or in the water first.

His advice: stay on the shore and call 911 immediately.

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