Officers practice ice water rescues in Vincennes

The Indiana State Police met Friday morning for training. Their goal is to prepare these troopers for various winter water rescues.

Posted: Dec. 29, 2017 6:56 PM
Updated: Dec. 29, 2017 10:47 PM

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI)- Imagine standing on a frozen pond or lake when the ice gives way. The countdown for your survival begins as soon as you hit the cold water.

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That’s why a group of officers met Friday in Vincennes to train. Their goal is to prepare themselves to save lives in extreme conditions.

They were troopers of the Indiana State Police. Among them was Brock Buchanan of the underwater search recovery team.

"When you go into a rescue situation its more your adrenaline is up so you got to fall back to your training, so you got to get good repetitions in. Take your time focus on your safety and understand how to do it," said Buchanan.

With the temperatures still below freezing, this the opportunity for these troopers to practice in conditions they are not used to. Also different scenarios like saving their fellow man.

One drill involved divers searching for fellow divers who are lost under the ice. With lower temperatures and ice it can be easy to get turned around.

Another drill was practicing to save those who have fallen through the ice.

"It comes down to the minutes. When you hyperthermia sets in and everything can go downhill from there so it's all about minutes to go," said Buchanan

These officers say the most important thing to do is stay calm. Then focus on getting yourself on top of the ice and out of the water.

"If you got something in your pockets like keys, a pocket knife or something try to use them to dig yourself back up onto the surface and spread your body weight out. Obviously its too thin to be out there on but when you spread the body weight out it does help a little bit," said Buchanan

They also urge you that if you need to walk onto a patch of ice make sure you have someone close by to call 911.

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