It was the opposite extreme for firefighters — fighting frigid temperatures, not the heat of flames.
Fourteen members of the Armstrong County 340 Task Force, training in water rescues, cut a hole in 4-inch-thick ice on the lake at Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township in Westmoreland County and donned dry suits last weekend to demonstrate what they learned in a classroom session and practice session in a swimming pool.
Each had to show proficiency in four areas: self-extrication, using ice picks; saving a victim, using ropes and poles; a boat and swimming board rescue; and, as a last resort, diving into the icy water for a direct save.
“We want people to know that there are trained resources available. The viability for people in freezing water is 30-60 minutes,” said Dan Felack, task force deputy chief.
The group includes members of Leechburg Volunteer Fire Department, Vandergrift Fire Department Co.1, Markle Volunteer Fire Department in Allegheny Township, Lower Kiski Emergency Services and Eureka Fire-Rescue and EMS in Tarentum.
All completed the course to earn ice rescue certification, a skill needed to become certified as a state swiftwater emergency technician.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.