Capital City Fire/Rescue personnel underwent annual ice rescue training at Twin Lakes on April 7, 2021. The training occurs in the spring, when the ice is rotted and most dangerous. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Capital City Fire/Rescue personnel underwent annual ice rescue training at Twin Lakes on April 7, 2021. The training occurs in the spring, when the ice is rotted and most dangerous. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Firefighters on ice: CCFR goes for a chilly dip as part of annual training

The annual training prepares firefighters for accidents on Juneau’s frozen lakes and ponds.

Capital City Fire/Rescue gathered at Twin Lakes on Wednesday morning for a refreshing dip with some colleagues as personnel underwent their annual ice rescue training.

“We do this every spring as the ice starters to degrade,” said assistant chief Travis Mead in an interview. “It’s a good opportunity to get out and practice some skills.”

CCFR will be rotating all its staff through the training in the weeks to come, Mead said.

Capt. Jayme Johns, in yellow, head of the Capital City Fire/Rescue’s water rescue team, and Brady Fink, one of the trainers, get kitted up during CCFR’s annual ice rescue training at Twin Lakes on April 7, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Capt. Jayme Johns, in yellow, head of the Capital City Fire/Rescue’s water rescue team, and Brady Fink, one of the trainers, get kitted up during CCFR’s annual ice rescue training at Twin Lakes on April 7, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“It’s when the ice starts to get a little rotten,” Mead said. “We consider it one of the more dangerous times.”

Twin Lakes provided a convenient place to hold the training between the downtown and airport stations, Mead said. The thawing ice made a good training environment for the circumstances frequently encountered when people go through the ice, Mead said.

Capital City Fire/Rescue personnel underwent annual ice rescue training at Twin Lakes April 7, 2021. The training occurs in the spring, when the ice is rotted and most dangerous. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Capital City Fire/Rescue personnel underwent annual ice rescue training at Twin Lakes April 7, 2021. The training occurs in the spring, when the ice is rotted and most dangerous. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

CCFR typically performs two to three ice rescues a year, usually near the Mendenhall Glacier, Mead said. More people fall through but are able to self-recover.

“We encourage people to call 911 early,” Mead said. “One of the leading causes of this is dogs that go through the ice and humans that go to rescue them.”

Capt. Jayme Johns, in yellow, head of the Capital City Fire/Rescue’s water rescue team, shows firefighter Liam Van Sickle, left, how to safely cross treacherous ice during CCFR’s annual ice rescue training at Twin Lakes on April 7, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Capt. Jayme Johns, in yellow, head of the Capital City Fire/Rescue’s water rescue team, shows firefighter Liam Van Sickle, left, how to safely cross treacherous ice during CCFR’s annual ice rescue training at Twin Lakes on April 7, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Calling 911 early allows CCFR to get rescuers in position quickly, improving the odds of a good outcome, said assistant chief Ed Quinto.

The trainers, led by Capt. Jayme Johns, head of CCFR’s water rescue team, will get training in the Lower 48 for the specialized rescues, before coming back to the department and training the personnel and volunteers, Quinto said.

Capt. Jayme Johns, head of the Capital City Fire/Rescue’s water rescue team, chucks a rope bag back to shore during CCFR’s annual ice rescue training at Twin Lakes on April 7, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Capt. Jayme Johns, head of the Capital City Fire/Rescue’s water rescue team, chucks a rope bag back to shore during CCFR’s annual ice rescue training at Twin Lakes on April 7, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Jan. 22

David Holmes digs through a pile of boardgames during Platypus Gaming’s two-day mini-con over the weekend at Douglas Public Library and Sunday at Mendenhall Public Library. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Good times keep rolling with Platypus Gaming

Two-day mini-con held at Juneau Public Library.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau man indicted on child pornography charges

A Juneau man was indicted Thursday on charges of possessing or accessing… Continue reading

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
Juneau’s municipal and state legislative members, their staff, and city lobbyists gather in the Assembly chambers Thursday meeting for an overview of how the Alaska State Legislature and politicians in Washington, D.C., are affecting local issues.
Local leaders, lawmakers and lobbyists discuss political plans for coming year

Morning meeting looks at local impact of state, national political climates.

This photo shows pills police say were seized after a suspicious package was searched. (Juneau Police Department)
Police: 1,000 fentanyl pills, 86 grams of meth seized

Juneau man arrested on felony charges.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Captain Anne Wilcock recieves the Emery Valentine Leadership Award at the 2022 CCFR awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 14. (Courtesy Photo / CCFR)
CCFR honors responders during annual banquet

Capital City Fire/Rescue hosted its 2022 awards banquet earlier this month as… Continue reading

A resident and his dog walk past the taped off portion of the Basin Road Trestle after it suffered damaged from a rockslide earlier this week. The trestle is open to pedestrians, but will remain closed to vehicular traffic until structural repairs are made, according to city officials. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Rocky road: Basin Road Trestle open to pedestrians, remains closed to vehicles

City officials say repairs are currently being assessed after damaging rockfall

Most Read