Norfolk Fire and Rescue Trains for Ice Rescues

NORFOLK, NE — Nebraska is experiencing a warming trend… thinning the layer of ice on many lakes and rivers and creating dangerous conditions if people or animals venture onto the ice.

“Today with the wind and the warm temperatures we’re going to have, you’re going to see a lot of open water in spots where two or three days ago there was probably three to four inches of ice,” Norfolk Fire & Rescue C Shift Captain Landon Grothe said.

The risky ice conditions made it an appropriate time for Norfolk Fire and Rescue’s annual ice rescue training at Skyview Lake.  Grothe says the public needs to be safe when going near thawing lakes.

“Tell people where you’re going, take a partner with you ice fishing and make sure you check the ice as you go out to where you’re going to fish,” Grothe said.

Grothe says one common circumstance that leads to an ice rescue involves people walking dogs near water.

“A couple ice rescues we’ve been involved with have been (when) the victim’s dog goes out chasing the waterfowl and falls through the ice,” Grothe said.  “So then the owner of the dog has gone out to try to rescue (the dog) and they fall through the ice.”

The Nebraska Game and Parks says the minimum ice thickness for supporting oner person is at least four inches of clear, solid ice.