Ice Rescues: Practice Makes Perfect

WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. -- With warmer temperatures, conservation officers are concerned that melting ice could lead to tragedies on our lakes and ponds.

A split second can be the difference in saving a life and emergency crews need to be prepared.

Under the watchful eye of Dave Kaneski, members of the Pennsylvania Game Commission made their way into a hole in the ice at a fish hatchery near Union Dale.

The Pennsylvania Waterways Conservation Officer showed them tips on how to help someone who falls through the ice.

"Just wanted to give them a little heads up. If you fall through does not mean it is over right off the bat, or if you see someone else fall through, what not to do as well as what to do," Kaneski said.

Despite it being spring, officials say there are more than 20 inches of ice on lakes and ponds in some parts of Wayne County, but warmer temperatures could make for some dangerous conditions for those still on the ice.

"It is either freezing or melting. It is never staying the same and it can change rapidly," said Kaneski.

Members of the Game Commission practiced getting themselves out, then each other, or were pulled out by others on the shore using a long rope.

"You do not want to run right out to a person if they fall through, so that is the throw part, whether it is a life jacket or rope or a ladder, something to keep distance between you and the person you are trying to rescue."

When it comes to saving a life, being safe and smart can make all the difference.

"When we are out there, we have to make split-second decisions whether it is to call 911 or rescue somebody ourselves. It was not fun, but it is what real life is about when you are out there," said Patrick Dessoye, Pennsylvania Game Commission.

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