Fire Fighting in Canada

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Volunteers rescue teen from ice floating down river

March 18, 2013, Cornwall, P.E.I. - A Prince Edward Island teen was shaken and cold but unharmed after a piece of ice he jumped on broke off and began rapidly travelling down a river on Saturday afternoon.

March 18, 2013
By The Canadian Press

Kirby Wakelin, chief of the North River Fire Department, said the teen boy and his friend were jumping on ice on the North River in Cornwall near the North River Causeway when a piece broke off.

Wakelin said one of the boys jumped into the water, but the other stayed on the icefloe.

"He did jump off and probably went up to his knees in the frigid water and then he ran into shore, but the other young fella got
caught in the flow,'' said Wakelin on Sunday from his home in Cornwall.

He said the river's swift current quickly carried the teen downriver on the icefloe, measuring about two metres by three metres.

"It was going quite rapidly… probably (three or four kilometres an hour),'' said Wakelin. "One of my guys was walking on
shore with him and couldn't keep up with him.''

Wakelin said three volunteer firefighters dressed in cold water survival suits were called in to rescue the boy in a zodiac boat.

He said the volunteers had some difficulties getting the zodiac through ice near the shore, but eventually reached the boy and
brought him to safety.

Wakelin said the boy was treated by emergency paramedics at the scene.

"He was just scared and cold,'' said Wakelin. "Kids today, they'll do anything.''

Wakelin said he wanted to remind residents of the dangerous of playing on unsafe ice.

"It is very dangerous and these frigid water, it doesn't take anything to become disoriented'' he said.