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Carlos firefighters get certified in thin ice rescue

Some members of the Carlos Fire Department become certified in thin ice rescue this past Saturday. The training took place on Lake Carlos at Lake Carlos State Park. (Contributed)

With so many lakes in its jurisdiction, Carlos Fire Chief Jake Steidl decided it was time members of the Carlos Fire Department became certified in thin ice rescue.

"We have probably the biggest jurisdiction that is surrounded by lakes," said Steidl. "We have been wanting to get certified for awhile and we were finally able to do it."

As of this past Saturday, Steidl said there are 11 members of the Carlos Fire Department who are now certified in thin ice rescue.

The Carlos Fire Department, along with the Forada Fire Department, have members that are fully trained in thin ice rescue, according to Douglas County Sergeant Greg Windhurst, who leads the Douglas County Dive/Rescue Team. He also said the Miltona Fire Department has members that are partially trained.

The members of the Carlos Fire Department were trained at Lake Carlos State Park on March 25 by Kevin Smith.

Smith is a dispatcher for Douglas County and a member of the Douglas County Dive/Rescue Team. He is a certified thin ice rescue trainer through Dive Rescue International. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office paid for Smith to become a certified trainer, said Windhurst.

Steidl said it's great to have members from different departments that are certified. He said the dive/rescue team will also get called out, but depending on where a call is, maybe a different department with certified members can get to the scene quicker.

"It's like a big group effort," said Steidl, who said Saturday's training was fun and a great experience. "We look forward to not using our training, but we are now prepared if we get called out."

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office issued a thin ice warning Sunday, saying there have been several calls of ATVs and people breaking through the ice in the past week. The sheriff's office is warning people to use extreme caution if venturing out on any of the area lakes as the ice conditions can change quickly and to make sure to wear a life jacket and be prepared to do a self-rescue.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste Edenloff, a reporter for the Echo Press, has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from May of 1999 to February 2011, and is happy to be back and once again sharing the stories of the people in this community. Besides being a reporter, Celeste is a certified fitness instructor and enjoys teaching bootcamp classes through Snap Fitness. She also enjoys running and has participated in more than 170 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.


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