‘Prevent the chaos’: Spokane Valley Fire holds live ice rescue training on Newman Lake

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Wednesday kicked off the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s annual live ice rescue training on Newman Lake, where first responders learn firsthand how to save someone who’s fallen through ice.

“Our job is to prevent the chaos from happening and control those scenes”, said Kelby Kiedrowski, an EMT with the fire department.

Winter in the Inland Northwest is a big time for ice skating, ice fishing, and other winter activities that could potentially put people in danger.

“We have bodies of water all over the place so in the wintertime, even something as simple as a golf course with a water feature could end up being the subject of an ice rescue,” said Zack Bond, Deputy Chief of operations for the Fire Department.

This in-depth training happens yearly to ensure local firefighters know everything they need, to save lives.

“It’s the logistics of getting guys out here, that is one of the biggest things, making sure people are responding to the right areas when crews are incoming, and then doing a thorough scene size up,” Kiedrowski said.

Part of that training includes playing the victim, which many firefighters had the chance to do on Wednesday as their fellow firefighters rescued them, to better understand what goes into a rescue mission like this.

“They can correct the stuff that they possibly miss when they’re out there being a rescuer, it’s really great for them to get that full-circle perspective on what’s going on,” Kiedrowski said.

If you do find yourself trying to help someone who is stuck, call 9-1-1 and make sure first responders are able to pinpoint your exact location.

There will be two more live ice rescue trainings on Newman Lake on Thursday. One will have classroom instruction at 9:30 a.m. and live training at 10:30, and the other will start in the classroom at 1:30 p.m. and have training at 2:30 p.m.