BANGOR-Most people don’t realize Bangor’s firefighters don’t only fight fires, as they deal with the opposite end of the spectrum as well.
As early Thursday they had to jump into the freezing Kenduskeag Stream as a part of their ice rescue training.
According to Lieutenant John. Miller of the Bangor Fire Department, the training consisted of firefighters gearing up in their special diving suits and practicing real-life ice water rescue situations.
Lt. Miller said unfortunately, this yearly training is necessary because there are instances of people getting too close to the ice-cold water.
“Sometimes people want to go down and explore that, take a look at it and they get a little too close and fall in. So we have to train on that so that we’re proficient at it and we can do it in a safe manner and provide that service to the community,” Lt. Miller said.
“It’s just not stable ice for people to get out on. There could be different layering with the snow cover on it. There’s just no way to gauge the safety of the ice to get onto that,” he also said.
This ice training prepared firefighters for situations like the December 26th emergency rescue of two people who were stranded on the Kenduskeag Stream.
Overall, he said this is just one of the great perks of being a firefighter.
“When you get into this career field, most people love what they do and we want to be able to help in any way that we can. And this is one of the many ways that we’re able to provide that level of service to the community,” he said.