Falling Through the Ice; What to do.

What to do if you fall through the ice. Would you know what to do? When I teach a WFR in the far north in the winter I am always able to find a student volunteer to “fall through” the ice. After a safe extrication is conducted WFR students act quickly to remove the patient’s wet clothing, package the patient in a hypothermia wrap, and evacuate the patient to a nearby building. From time of extrication to time inside a building I have had students do this in 8 minutes.

This video by Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, an expert on hypothermia physiology, explains how to self-extricate from the water after falling through the ice. He also explains how hypothermia develops. Several years ago Dr. Giesbrecht delivered a hypothermia training program to WMA instructors.

This video is often shown during WFR classes and is a great thing to refresh as the cold weather season arrives.

Submitted by:
Greg Friese, MS, NREMT-P, WEMT
President, Emergency Preparedness Systems LLC

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