Members of the Hills Fire Department put their lives on the line Saturday, Jan. 12 to train in the ice cold waters of the Hills Rez. Retired firefighter Dan Bernardy traveled to Hills from Inver Grove Heights to train the local firefighters on water and ice rescue techniques and equipment. The day started with several hours of classroom training at the fire hall. After learning how to respond safely to ice rescues, the group suited up and headed out to the ice for hands-on learning. The temperature Saturday hovered around a chilly 10 degrees with wind chills dipping well below zero.
Firemen paired up in teams of three wearing waterproof suits to practice a drill. One person acted as the victim, while the other two were there to perform the rescue. The remaining department members were onshore manning ropes that were attached to the rescuers and their equipment.