It was a chilling day of practice for the Wilmot Fire Department, as firefighters went through the annual ice water rescue training on Sunday.
"What they're working on now is victim recovery, safety, moving the ice, maneuvering through the ice. The proper way to approach a victim that's in the water," said Rod Leeson, fire chief for the Wilmot Fire Department.
Southwest Fire Academy, a private training company, was brought in to teach the firefighters different types of victim scenarios, including self-rescue.
"We're working on some basic go-rescues which is where the rescuer actually goes into the water and does the rescue, that's the most risky for a rescuer, is actually entering into the water," explained Gord Roesch, Southwest Fire Academy.
In addition to the typical firefighter fitness test, members of this team must also pass a swim test.
"We've had people that can't swim, or don't realize that they can't swim so usually on Friday's we'll do a swim test so they have to do 15 minutes of treading water, they have to do four lengths of heads up, front crawl and then after that we bring the equipment there and we do it in a very controlled environment," said Barrry Lasook, Southwest Fire Academy.
Unlike their normal work wear, which is designed to keep the heat out, the firefighters will suit up in thermal gear that is lined with rubber to keep the heat in.
"They're actually quite warm, especially when you're physically moving all the time," said Leeson.
Luckily the skills they're learning aren't requested in Wilmot often, but are always necessary to have.