New equipment helps Columbus Fire Department rescue dog from icy lake

Suit, boat protect rescuers

COLUMBUS, Ind. - A Columbus golden retriever is back with her family thanks to some new equipment used to rescue her from an icy lake. 

The dog, Nala, wandered out onto frozen Tipton Lake Tuesday, but the ice was thin and she fell in.

Luckily for her, the Columbus Fire Department has new ice rescue equipment. They’d been trained on it but had never used it until Tuesday.
It involves a special suit.
“You can stay in it for several hours in cold water and never get cold,” explained Eric Darlage, with the Columbus Fire Department.
The suit also keeps the rescuer above water. Then, there’s an inflatable boat that fits in a bag.
“We would lay it out and hook our air bottle to fill it up,” Darlage said.
Within seconds, the boat is ready to go. 

The rescuer can get in and walk on the ice with the boat surrounding him, and if the ice breaks, the rescuer can sit in the boat and paddle. 

It’s a time-saving device meant to save lives of not just people but animals too.

“When someone's in the cold water, it's critical we get to them as quick as we can," said Darlage.


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