DRUMS, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Several rescue and recovery missions have been conducted at the Susquehanna River. While many of us would not throw ourselves into freezing cold water just to learn how to save a life, that’s exactly what some firefighters in our area did.
Several local fire departments joined forces for an ice rescue training.
“Jointly the area companies get together and train together because if there’s a real emergency, you’re going to call multiple agencies,” said Chief Daniel Balliet, Foster Fire Department.
It happened at the pond on Bear Run Drive in Drums where they say the ice was at least five inches deep. They say if and when they get an ice rescue call, they’ll be ready.
“In the event where somebody would fall through the ice, so they’re kind of teaching us how we would rescue somebody. Getting us out there and showing us live action,” said Karleigh Burke, Junior Firefighter, Valley Regional Fire and Rescue.
Some of the first responders wore protective gear and entered the water while others practiced pulling them out using rope and other supplies.
“We’ve had quite a few ice rescues on the big lake and in this pond which is why we kind of got hot and heavy on the ice rescue part of water rescue,” said Kevin Tarapchak, Deputy Fire Chief, Valley Regional Fire Rescue.
At the end of the day, these first responders say they’re a family, saving one life at a time.
“It is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. The involvement, getting out into your community and helping your community. You feel proud of yourself,” said Katie Barron, Valley Regional Fire Rescue.
The public was also encouraged to come and observe. That way if they ever saw anybody in danger, they might be able to help pout and even save a life.