Henrico dive team practice ice rescues - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Henrico dive team practice ice rescues

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Frigid temperatures could be dangerous especially around iced up rivers, lakes, and ponds. The Henrico Search-Rescue Dive Team is on heightened alert, during these extreme weather conditions and they're warning you to keep kids from playing on the ice. 

Twice a year, during the coldest days in winter, search and rescue divers gear up for a simulated ice rescue; making sure they are fully prepared for a real life or death situation. 

"Pretty much anytime somebody's in the water, it's almost a guarantee we gotta go get them," said Alvin Critzer, Henrico firefighter. 

"We want to be ready for any type of emergency," said Co-Captain Daniel Schwartz, Henrico Search-Rescue Dive Team. 

It may not happen often, but anyone especially a child can fall through the ice in a moment, and the situation can quickly turn deadly. 

"We're talking minutes," said Schwartz. 

The ice where they are training is about an inch and a half thick. Captain Schwartz says in Virginia the ice never gets thick enough to hold a human much less a pet. 

"You're first initial shock is you lose your breath. You can't catch a breath then all of a sudden the anxiety builds up. Then you try to breathe faster. You don't breathe correctly, and then you lose oxygen," he said. 

And once you lose oxygen, you become disoriented. 

"It would definitely be scary, and it's an instant shock. A way to describe it would be like ten thousand needles piercing you all at once," Critzer said. 

Geared up in a dry suit, the rescuer playing the victim in training can withstand the chilling temperatures, but in regular clothes the water is be unbearable. 

"Cold water, it takes the heat away 20 times faster than wind," said Schwartz. 

The most important advice rescuers give is, never rush to follow a fallen person into the water. You'll most likely end up needing rescuing too. To be safe...just avoid playing on the ice. 

(c) 2010. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • AP Explains: Where do kids split from parents go?

    AP Explains: Where do kids split from parents go?

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 2:44 PM EDT2018-06-20 18:44:14 GMT
    Friday, June 22 2018 4:27 PM EDT2018-06-22 20:27:11 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File). FILE - In this June 18, 2014, file photo, two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television from their holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed a...(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File). FILE - In this June 18, 2014, file photo, two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television from their holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed a...
    The government hasn't worked out a streamlined way to reunite kids and parents separated at the border under the new zero-tolerance policy requiring all immigrants who cross the border illegally to be prosecuted.More >>
    The government hasn't worked out a streamlined way to reunite kids and parents separated at the border under the new zero-tolerance policy requiring all immigrants who cross the border illegally to be prosecuted.More >>
  • How to delay the onset and risk of diabetes

    How to delay the onset and risk of diabetes

    Friday, June 22 2018 4:21 PM EDT2018-06-22 20:21:03 GMT
    FILE PHOTOFILE PHOTO
    FILE PHOTOFILE PHOTO

    The National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is a proven and effective way to prevent and delay the onset and risk of diabetes.

    More >>

    The National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is a proven and effective way to prevent and delay the onset and risk of diabetes.

    More >>
  • The Latest: HHS says families won't be immediately reunited

    The Latest: HHS says families won't be immediately reunited

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 12:01 PM EDT2018-06-20 16:01:56 GMT
    Friday, June 22 2018 4:18 PM EDT2018-06-22 20:18:16 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File). FILE - In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of PMQs at parliament in London. The British government is facing anoth...(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File). FILE - In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of PMQs at parliament in London. The British government is facing anoth...
    British Prime Minister Theresa May says the United States is wrong to separate migrant children from their parents, but has rejected calls to cancel President Donald Trump's visit to Britain next month.More >>
    British Prime Minister Theresa May says the United States is wrong to separate migrant children from their parents, but has rejected calls to cancel President Donald Trump's visit to Britain next month.More >>
Powered by Frankly