Pinch, South Charleston firefighters train for ice rescues - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Pinch, South Charleston firefighters train for ice rescues

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Firefighters do ice rescue training at Coonskin Park in Charleston. Firefighters do ice rescue training at Coonskin Park in Charleston.

The recent arctic blast in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio is bringing a lot of ice to the region so two fire departments are teaming up to do ice rescue training.

"We pride ourselves in being prepared. We think we do a pretty good job at taking care of the community and this is just one part of it," said Chief David Wagner of the Pinch Volunteer Fire Department. 

Dozens of firefighters from the Pinch and South Charleston zipped up their exposure suits and voluntarily jumped into the icy pond at Coonskin Park. The idea is to give firefighters practical training and first-hand experience on what it is like to go into the water.

"We want people in the water. We want people to know what the conditions are going to be like. We want them to understand the high-stress situations they are going to feel, the cold that they are going to feel and this is going to be the only way we are able to do this," said Patrick Clark of the Pinch Volunteer Fire Department.  

As temperatures continue to drop, the likelihood for an ice rescue continues to climbs. Clark said if you find yourself stuck in an icy situation the key thing to remember is time. Hypothermia can set in within minutes.

"Time is actually working against us. So the quicker that we can get here, the quicker we can get in the water, the quicker we can get to these victims is what we want," said Clark.