This past week, 14 of the BWRT members completed the PA Fish & Boat's Ice Rescue and Emergency Response (IRER) certification. This certification was the last of a 5-step certification process for many of the team's members. This last class brings the team's total to 13 certified Water Rescue Technicians for the BWRT.
The IRER course tied many past skills together that were learned in previous courses and forced the participants to complete them all in below freezing conditions with bulky equipment on, not to mention frozen equipment and gloves and sometimes hands!
Members also acquired new skills related to ice safety and rescue including:
How to read ice and various techniques for moving across the ice depending on conditions
Self-rescue techniques to be used if a rescuer falls through the ice, or goes into the water after a victim
Boat-assisted rescue of a victim
Hands-on rescue using ropes, slings, and ice staffs
Use of the "Carlson Board" to navigate thin ice or pull someone up onto the Ice
Congrats and thank you to all members that have devoted the time and braved the elements to earn their Technician level certification for Swift Water Rescue!
Edit: Additional drone pictures in the Comments section; Thanks Jeff Sisko!