Well, rest assured, there was no emergency — it was just a drill.
When the conditions are right, the members of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department take the time to put into practice the skills they’ve learned about cold water rescue over the years. With so many kids playing hockey on Wright’s Pond, if anything ever happened, the OVFD would quickly be there and know exactly what to do.
The firefighters wore insulated waterproof suits and practiced a variety of cold water rescue techniques, but before they started the drills, they tested the ice around the pond and, even with the warmer weather, it was too thick to “accidentally” fall through.
Tethered to rescue ropes, two firefighters ventured out onto the ice with a chainsaw and cut a large rectangle in which to practice their rescue skills.
NOTE: If you are out on Wright’s Pond, be aware that the hole was cut in the ice closest to the waterfall and cornfield on Sunday, Jan. 28. It may not have time to adequately freeze over to be safe.