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I had meant to post about the course earlier but hadn't gotten around to it.

Here's the course description...

http://www.lifesaving.com/education/irt/index.html

The air temperature was -4 degrees F, the water was 33.5. The cold water suits were nice and warm... It was actually more comfortable in the water than outside.

It was a lot of fun swimming with the ice. We did one training 'evolution' where we roped up in teams of five and went for a walk/crawl/swim around the thin ice patch in the middle of the lake. I lucked out and was first in line for my team, which meant that I got to do the ice breaking. I'd crawl out of the water onto a shelf of ice, the ice would break into big pieces, and I would sink into the water again. Then I'd swim along to the next bit of attached shelf.

I actually participated in an ice rescue. While most of the instructors wore cold water suits (although they did not go into the water), the lead instructor was wearing regular cold-weather clothing. While showing my team some technique, he broke through the thin ice and went into the water. He did not look happy.

Interestingly, while we had been taught not to rush right up to the victim, our first instincts were to do just that, but we stopped ourselves before we got too far. One of the students crawled out and extended an oar to the victim and the rest of us hauled them back. It happened so fast that the student who the instructor had just pushed out into the water on an inflatable ice rescue boat didn't even know the instructor had gone in.

When the lead instructor went to change clothes (think shivering drowned rat), the other instructors told us that in the five years the course had been offered, this was the first time someone who was not dressed properly and expecting to get wet had gone into the water.

Some interesting facts...

- 50-67 % of all drownings are alcohol related
- Males are 4 times more likely to drown than females
- Drowning is the second leading cause of 'unintentional injury deaths' for kids 0 - 14 years old (makes you wonder about the 'intentional injury deaths', doesn't it?)
- Volunteer firefighters last longer in cold water than professional firefighters due to percentage of body fat
- 60% of thin ice deaths involve a car, truck, snowmobile, or other vehicle being driven on the ice

qrsline_small

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
peregrin8
Jan. 14th, 2004 01:19 pm (UTC)
excellent!
- Volunteer firefighters last longer in cold water than professional firefighters due to percentage of body fat

Hee hee!

- Males are 4 times more likely to drown than females

Now I wonder, is that due to our lesser likelihood of being out at the lake drunk, or the body fat thing again?
bxiie
Jan. 14th, 2004 05:19 pm (UTC)
Re: excellent!
Supposedly, males are more likely to be risk takers.

Supposedly.

eloquentwthrage
Jan. 14th, 2004 01:23 pm (UTC)
Volunteer firefighters last longer in cold water than professional firefighters due to percentage of body fat

1,200,000 bears and bear lovers can't be wrong!
peregrin8
Jan. 14th, 2004 02:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, bears last quite a bit longer in cold water. Especially polar bears. -blink-
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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AFFF
bxiie
Bjamexza Q. Pyndejo / James O. Payne, Jr.
Bxiie Q. Pyndejo

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