MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (WUSA9) - The cold weather hitting the D.C. area can put people in extremely dangerous situations, such as falling into icy waters.
Victims can suffer everything from hypothermia to cold shock.
“So scary because you never know,” Joan Roth said. “Every year it seems like you hear about a story of someone that had gone through the ice.”
Montgomery County firefighters trained on rescuing people from icy water on Wednesday.
“Hypothermia sets in and when it gets to that point, that person that’s above that ice shelf might not be able to hang on anymore,” Lt. Peter Gillis, with the Montgomery County Fire Department, said.
The rescue workers have special equipment and gear to keep them safe, such as dry suits and special gloves.
Crews in D.C. also trained and showed how the rescues work.
There are two teams – those who do the actual rescuing and others waiting on the sidelines to help if their colleagues hit some trouble.
First responders said the ice in the D.C. area does not freeze like in states in the north, and there is no way to tell if the ice is safe.
“It just doesn’t pay to go out on the ice,” Lt. Gillis said.
If you see someone fall into some ice, don’t try to help them right away.
Call 9-1-1 to get first responders on the way.
After, go and try to find something to throw into the water for help.
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