Monday, February 6, 2023

Denison Fire Features Ice Rescue During Youth Fishing Clinic

The Denison Volunteer Fire Department and Izaak Walton League combined for an event featuring ice fishing and safety at Yellow Smoke Park this weekend. 

Chief Cory Snowgren says the fire department demonstrated a low-frequency, high-risk scenario where they attach a rope to someone being rescued after falling through the ice. 

“It’s more a ‘go’ rescue than it is something that would take significant setup. When the truck hits 'park' they’re already hooked up to a rope and away they go. Obviously, time is of the essence. There are quite a few technical rescues we can find ourselves responding to. A lot of them involve ropes and rope gear. That type of thing,” Snowgren said. 

He says a situation like the one simulated on Saturday did actually happen years ago in this same park. Justin Gotto, who is now a lieutenant with DVFD, says it’s been about 15 years since he helped respond that day. 

“We went through about 12 feet of open water and climbed onto the ice sheet. We had several of our guys go through the ice in the process so him, myself, and three other of our guys were all treated at the hospital for exposure. Everybody came out alright,” Gotto said. 

Gotto says plenty of practice will help keep you on top of any emergency situation. The fire department demonstration was part of the Izaak Walton League Youth Ice Fishing Clinic and longtime member Craig Bugatski says everything was perfect except the fish didn’t bite. 

“Catching fish is just a bonus. It’s just letting them know there’s more out there and get them off the couch and the video games and get some fresh air,” Bugatski said. “I think it’s important that adults set a good example for these kids. They don’t always get that watching TV and watching the news so if we can provide those good examples locally I think that’s a win.”

He says about 25 kids participated in the sixth year of the clinic.

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