Saranac Lake Fire Department

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Aug 19, 2022

SLVFD rescues deer through the ice-Issues urgent reminder!!!
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By SLVFD News Room
December 21, 2019

Today the SLVFD was able to successfully rescue a deer that had fallen through the ice in the Lake Flower channel in the narrows between Indian Rock Trail and the Branch Farm Road. The ice was thin and the deer was unable to climb back onto the ice shelf and self rescue. (See Below Video)

The SLVFD was dispatched at 10:04am and responded with Marine 1, Misc 349, and and 7 members. The SLVFD was accompanied by New York State Environmental Conservation Officer James Cranker. Marine 1 (airboat) flew from the Lake Flower boat launch to the scene where the ice was broken in the channel around the deer using the airboat and then ice was broken by firefighters using hand tools to create a path for the deer to exit the lake. The deer did successfully leave the lake and ran away safely. All SLVFD units were back in service at 11:40am

It is important to note that deer falling through the ice in the Adirondacks is a common occurrence. As sad as it is, it is part of nature, in some cases the deer can actually self rescue. The SLVFD does not normally respond to these incidents. Sometimes there is concern when this happens in a public area that well intentioned but untrained civilians will put them selves in harms way. When this happens the SLVFD will do a very thorough risk analysis to determine if the rescue can be made in a safe manner. Today it was decided that proper equipment, trained personnel, and favorable conditions were all present and the successful attempt was made. The SLVFD members on the ice today have significant training in surface ice rescue, they had proper equipment and had proper survival gear on. We strongly encourage folks not to attempt this sort of rescue on their own.

We are so happy to bring you this happy story of a rescued deer this holiday season, but that brings us to our urgent reminder.

NO ICE IS SAFE ICE!!! We say it every year, and unfortunately people through ice is also a common occurrence in our area. Please avoid going onto the ice. No ice is safe ice relates to all bodies of water, in particular please remember that lake flower is a moving body of water and the ice never properly freezes.


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Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department
100 Broadway
PO Box 509
Saranac Lake NY 12983

Emergency: 911
Non-Emergency: 518-891-2333
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