Jenks firefighters practice water rescues

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Reported by: Farron Salley
Updated: 12/10/2013 5:13 pm Published: 12/10/2013 4:23 pm

Jenks fire rescuers took advantage of the cold temperatures to practice water rescues on ice.

"It's hard to get out there through the ice," said Keith Gillette, a rescuer.

Rescuers went out in pairs, breaking through the ice to save the mock victim.

"By the time you get the ice broke and you start your momentum starts moving then it slows you down to almost a stop, and you got to break the ice to scoot up again," said Gillette.

It was a time-consuming process. FOX23 talked to Capt. Paul Jenkins about how long someone stranded in the cold water would physically be able to wait.

"It's a matter of minutes before you're really incapacitated, you're going to lose coordination almost immediately so the key is to stay out of the water," said Jenkins.

But he said there's an extended period of time when rescuers can resuscitate.

"(We have) up to 30 minutes for resuscitating a victim that's been in the cold water," said Jenkins.

Gillette had to pick through the ice to the center of the pond, but said it would be easy for someone of any weight to fall in.

"When they get out to where the ice may be a little thinner or maybe the same width, then it breaks and of course they're in deeper water," he said.

In deeper water or around the edges, their conclusion is to just stay away.

"There really is no safe ice in Oklahoma. It's just not cold enough for long enough to keep that ice safe," said Jenkins.

Tuesday's simulation was the first time some of the rescuers have ever attempted a water rescue on ice. They'll be out again Wednesday to get in more training for the winter.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 12/10/2013 7:01 PM
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I'm sure they'd rather have a krill filled with trout.
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