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Local firefighters prepare for cold water rescues

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Updated: 12/29/2013 10:42 am

TROY, N.Y. – Firefighters and rescue teams from across the Capital Region are in the middle of training for cold water rescues.

This winter, the Troy Fire Department has had one close call. They now plan to attend an annual training in January to make sure they are ready to answer the dangerous task of saving people and animals that fall through the ice.

Recent warm weather has melted ice on local bodies of water, giving a deceiving look to lakes and rivers that some might think the early cold stretch this winter would keep thick and frozen.

Captain Tom Miter Troy Fire Department said the training is "An involved process because the cold water suits, although they work very well, they're not easy to put on."

Captain  Miter said people should make sure the ice is at least 6 inches deep before standing on it, and as far as vehicles or winter automobiles go, it must be much thicker.

The Albany County Sheriff's Office is also encouraging the public to stay off thin ice areas. On Friday, crews responded when a motorcycle plunged through the ice.

"Later in the winter you'll see vehicles out on the ice," explained Miter. "You want at least 18 inches, two feet of ice, for something like that."  

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