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Raw video: Controversy over actions of police officers & firefighters as man drowns after jumping into Champaign, Illinois pond.

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Coverage of drownings in UK & California where firefighters’ actions were questioned

Firegeezer.com’s coverage

Here are two videos from a drowning of a man on Tuesday in a retention pond in Champaign, Illinois.  The actions of police officers and firefighters has become a bit controversial as some question why they didn’t go after the man sooner.

The man, 20-year-old Kenneth Brown, had run from police and jumped into the pond. Rather than excerpt some detailed articles about the incident, here are links to two articles that describe the concerns expressed by citizens and the responses from public safety officials.

The News-Gazette

The Daily Caller

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Comments - Add Yours

  • BH

    As the firefighters were suiting up and getting tethered, other team members threw out a rescue disc — “a frisbee with a rope on it” — in hopes that Mr. Brown would grab on. He did not.

    Of course he didn’t- none of them put the disc within 10 feet of him. Nor did they seem to care.

    They decided he was a scumbag as soon as they pulled up, and acted accordingly. And maybe he is. But any human being deserved better than to drown when there were plenty reasonable options for rescue available besides pathetic, half-hearted rope throws. Whoever bought that boat and decided it could be used for ice rescue shouldn’t have a job either. Looks like something from a beach resort in the Caribbean.

    • DW

      BH, the boat is called a Fortuna and is specifically designed for ice and water rescue, look it up. So now that you are informed, do you still believe that the person who bought it shouldn’t have a job? Now, do I believe that the rescue disk was the best idea, no. But in an ice or water rescue we follow the rule of Reach, Throw, Row & Go. Reaching and throwing are easy and fast to do, and are typically being done while someone is preparing a boat or other rescue equipment. Unfortunately, this guy was too far out so they had to wait for the boat to be deployed. It’s a sad situation, but to point all the fingers at the rescuers is completely unnecessary.

      • E4

        “…had to wait for the boat to be deployed”? They did not HAVE to. It is a matter of training and will. Two tethered FF’s with a sled(assisted w/ice awls) could have been there in moments. Were there other considerations such as weapons? I don’t know. I do know all that went out-the-door when the active drowning began.

    • CJJ

      You know what they say of people who assume things right? First off first responders rescue everyone regardless of the persons actions. Second the boat in question is specifically designed for ice rescue. When out on the ice your weight must be distributed as evenly as possible to prevent the ice from breaking further. Putting rescuers on the ice or in the water is the absolute last resort. Try researching and gaining information and knowlege before spouting off at the mouth.

    • anon

      you don’t know much about ice rescue, do you? that inflatable is an amazing rescue item that will go across ice and water very well. oceanid’s RDC is a standard piece of equipment for ice rescue – they just should have gotten it out there sooner.

      • BH

        Anything that takes that log to set up and deploy is not by any means “an amazing rescue item”. It also could have gone faster if they used it on the ice correctly, judging by the website’s instructional videos. Even if he was still above water they weren’t in a position to use the device to their advantage.

        Give me a MARSARS or IRSS sled any day. Even a Rescue Alive (some assembly required) would have been better/quicker than waiting for the banana boat.

        I still don’t see anything there that says to me that they were in a hurry to get him out. I’ve seen departments get deer off the ice faster and more efficiently. Like taxpayer said, if it was a firefighter through the ice it would NOT have been a 10-minute video (he’s on his own for the second sentence, though).

  • Fire21

    Wow, the writer from The Daily Caller is the typical sensationalist writer, the kind which I hope you are ashamed of, Dave. The headline screams it all: Firefights and cops do nothing.

    At least The News Gazette printed quotes from the firefighters and cops who explained what and why they were doing what they did. Where was The Daily Caller when the Gazette reporter was talking to the responders? He sure didn’t seem to have the material the Gazette reporter had.

    Citizens expect all types of rescues to go on the same timetable as a fire rescue. High angle, machinery, ice and water rescues, to name some, take special preps and ops to accomplish. They just don’t understand that.

    • dave statter

      That was generally my assessment about the coverage.

  • Sharppointy1

    Dave, I’m hoping some firefighters with ice rescue experience can answer this question. I know it’s simplistic. Fellow KIC’s: remember I am a psych nurse, not a FF.
    Why didn’t a ladder truck extend its ladder at a low angle over the man in the water and have a FF rescue him from above?
    Granted I was not there, have only seen the videos, have NO IDEA how far out in the water Brown was. I’m assuming that a low angle deployment of the ladder would be very unstable, I just don’t know.
    Thanks in advance, experts.

    • Mark too

      I really can’t say if extending a ladder out would have been feasible from the limited view provided in these videos. However, I can say, based on my water and ice rescue training, that from the limited view these videos provided, they appear to have done exactly what they should have done in this situation. The victim was obviously too far out to REACH for him so 2 rescuers were each attempting to THROW a tethered ring out to the victim. It may seem like it’s an easy thing to do, but it’s very difficult to be accurate at the distance they had to reach. While they were doing that, other rescuers were preparing the inflatable boat specifically designed for this type of rescue. Once ready, they proceed to ROW/GO to the victim with the boat – which was about 7 minutes into the 2nd video. I can’t say how long it was from their arrival to the start of the video, but based on the video and the timeline in the linked articles, it looks like they did exactly what they should’ve done and did it in a reasonable time frame despite what the uninformed citizens think. Performing technical rescues (as this one was) are a prime example of the lesson in the story of the “Tortoise and the Hare” – slow and steady wins the race.

  • Russ Gregston

    Wow The article in the Daily Caller belonged in the Editorial section.It sounded like they have an ax to grind with public safety.

    • firehat

      They do. That’s a hardcore anti-public-employee rightwing site run by Tucker Carlson. If you think the article is bad you should read the user comments.

  • Legeros

    Dave, there’s a book op for you in all of these postings. I am thinking a sensational title like:

    WHAT THE NEWS MEDIA ISN’T TELLING YOU ABOUT HOW FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES REALLY WORK

    Or maybe add some exciting punctuation:

    THE TRUTH ABOUT FIREFIGHTERS! (AND HOW THEY’RE BRAVER AND SMARTER THAN WHAT YOU SEE ON THE NEWS!)

    Just think, you could promote yourself on Fox. Maybe even get in a shouting match with Bill O’Reilly.

  • Anonymous

    Another video showing the absolute lack of value our society has for others. Where is our compassaion for the hurting? The running commentary laughing at this guy is disgusting. Sure he ran, he put himself there and endangered others. But that is what we all signed up to do when we joined the Fire Dept. This nation is doomed. Incidents like Newtown and Webster will continue as long as our society continues to devalue the life of others. Praying for these responders who did what they could and still lost a victim. If you’ve been there you know how hard it is. Also praying for this man’s family. They are hurting today.

  • PPFD

    Pretty simple here.

    Don’t run from the cops and jump in a frozen pond, then you won’t drown.

    Don’t see what the issue here is. Guy made his choice, he choose poorly.

    Had a Deputy Sheriff in my area a few years ago jump in the Ohio River thinking he’d catch a hood rat that ran from him and jumped in the river.

    Deputy is dead and left a wife and 2 little kids, all to catch a hood rat that ran.

    • xray

      Come on man, that doesnt sound to kosher coming from a public safety servant. Our job is to save people regardless of prejudice,personal opinion,ect…People make bad choices in times of desperation. I watched the video, I think if that had been someone other than the degenerate they thought him to be,they wouldve moved a little faster. In summation the poor soul shouldve been saved in a timely manner to prevent loss of life,regardless of his crime.

    • talisha brown

      Sad. No compassion!!!

  • doobis

    Justice Rehnquist ruled that the state, absent “a special relationship” (such as might exist for persons in state institutions), had no affirmative constitutional duty to protect individuals.

    While the above and frequently upheld belief by the courts has a very tragic side to it, it also protects LEOs, FFs, and medics from facing criminal and often civil penalties for not recklessly risking their lives in cases such as this one. We are under no obligation to rush in like fools or to become cannon fodder despite what some members of society believe.

  • Taxpayer

    If this was a firefighter who needed to be rescued I guarantee he’d be alive today. With government employed unionized first responders, this is what you get: excuses.

    • E4

      Move along Taxpayer. Your political agenda has no place here.

    • xray

      Taxpayer you are right, if that was a fellow firefighter or police officer there is no way he wouldve drowned. Anyone who speak different is not being honest with himself. It hurts me to my soul to see someone perish like that. I believe more couldve been done in a timely manner to execute an effective rescue.By the way im a FF.

    • Mark too

      “Excuses” are what some people call explanations of an event that conflicts with their preconceived notions about it.

    • skeletor-1

      What a knob!

    • Anonymous

      Hey taxpayer, if you have the courage and think that you can perform an ice rescue better then these guys…go strap your boots on and put your money where your mouth is.

    • USIRRANIDIOT

      I waited for the one… And I found you.

      This is what occurs when you rush in. Take a look.

      http://www.portclintonnewsherald.com/article/20130102/NEWS01/301020030/Sledders-rescuers-fall-through-ice-Calif-

      The next time you see someone who fell through the ice. Jump in like them. Until then do all of us, in emergency services, a favor and do not comment on something you have no clue what you are talking about. If you are taxpayer and want a refund, I will happily start a fund to repay you. I think we can find $5.75 in between the couch cushions.

  • John

    SP1, it’s hard to gauge distance in the video, but they may not have been able to find a stable area to set up an aerial close enough to the water to reach. Those trucks are heavy and have to be on solid ground, and the last thing they needed was to collapse a retaining wall into the pond and turn their million dollar truck into a submarine.

  • Aussie FF

    A firefighter wouldn’t have been running from police and wouldn’t be stupid enough to jump onto a frozen pond.

    What do you want? 5 dead firefighters as well as the fool who caused it all? This isn’t Hollywood, rescues take time in the real world.

  • Cappy

    Someone in the chain of responders had to removed this guy from the water. Preferably… alive. We are in that chain of agencies just prior to the medical examiners office. He was a human being………… We assist the unknowing the uninformed and the “idiots” that experience the human condition across this country everyday. As you read this… dozens… possibly hundreds of firefighters are deploying resources to assist many people that made an err in judgement.. a stupid decision… a less than sound choice. Many are being exposed to hazards that injure and kill firefighters every year.
    We should all remember that most of us are less than four bad decisions away from being homeless and jobless and devoid of nearly everything we value. Think about it.
    Are we are willing to attempt an aggressive interior attack and search and rescue operation for someone we do’nt know that often times have contributed to the circumstances which makes our intervention necessary???
    Survey says.. we are… we have… and will in most cases continue to assist those in need of our help. Lets just pray that we dont make a less than optimal decision and find ourselves in need of this help instead of being one of those that are delivering the help.

  • Chief 62

    Personally this was sad to see this person drown. It is obvious to me this FD practices very little ice/water rescue training. The time of submersion via the 2nd tape was 7.5 minutes. The two initial firefighters in the Ice Commander suits were very capable of venturing out on the ice surface, they could not have drowned if properly suited up, this is what there designed for, there are thousands in use off Canada’s east coast. Instead of trying to land life rings on frozen ice, once again another skill that has to be practiced lots, they should have secured the two members to life ropes and had them move out on the ice to get as close as possible to the victim, “if not to the victim” and get that ring over his body not waste 7 minutes with no apparent urgency shown trying to get a ring out. Once more the indecisiveness shown at the shore speaks volumes, if I was a ratepayer in Champaign I would want some serious questions answered, and just for the “commentators” this was a person not worthy of being rescued, please keep in mind if an ordinary citizen had the same misfortune or heaven forbid a small child this is their service delivery presently in place.

    An ice rescue call demands quickness,deciseness and a plan, hypothermia sets in real fast, actually I am amazed the victim lasted 7.5 minutes and thats just the video time!! we see, how long before FD on scene, for total time in the frigid water. This is a discipline that requires many hours of drill time, not learning on the job at the critical time. I will leave my professional assessment at that, there is lots I see in the videos that indicate they were not well prepared for this. Generally I refrain from directing blame on anothers Dept. We up north have Ice/Water rescue response covering many dozens of retention ponds and two major rivers. This drowning did not have to happen. The fact this person was fleeing from law enforcement has no bearing on our responsibilities as the Fire Service. This outcome should have been a rescue not a retrieval. This is an excellent training video on how not to effect this operation.

    Sharppointy1, since no one has proferred an answer to your excellent question I will give you my learned opinion as a 40 year veteran. Aerial devices by nature are for the most part designed to be operated vertically. The newer straight sticks can be extended out horizontally and some versions ie;a Bronto Skylift and Rosenbauers version with baskets can operate below grade,we have 2 and can operate very effectively in such an operation. The most important key to this is training,evolution
    training, evolution until your profficient. We have used these devices for 3 water and 1 ice rescue I know of, 2 off a bridge and 2 over water/ice, the results were very good, successful retrievals in all 4. The difference is the hundreds of hours that we drill in doing just this practice, it can’t start at the time the 911 call comes in and the firefighters operating these aerial devices have to be well skilled in low angle manoevering of such apparatus. The time delay in getting positioned and in place to effectively use these devices in lieu of the norm accepted rapid rescue procedures from shore and the higher risk involved using a million dollar plus apparatus for a secondary purpose is usually why they are not utilized on a regular basis. Hope this shines some light on an excellent thought.

    My response area has approximately 100 of these man made type water reservoirs/retention ponds, some on walk out lots for the lake look. Pre-planning is the number one concern for these types of high risk/low frequency calls. We know the depths of the majority of these water containment bodies and many would be surprised at how deep some actually are, if were not sure, we go with our charted maximums and work back. Again the responding fire dept. should be aware of all first due hazards, this is one of them, if not get out in your districts and find out. This was a call they probably never factored in, I hope the sad outcome provides the neccesary impetutus for much needed improvement. Continued Reach-Throw and No Go does nothing. The way you analyze this is no different than a structure fire, the IC needs to ask him/herself “is the situation getting better or worse!!!! Always have a Plan B. Same rules, its just not a fire. As a senior commander it always amazes me the parallel isn’t drawn sooner by many.
    Condolences to this mans family, in the end he still was someone’s child, brother,perhaps even a father, keep this in mind “Brothers”, we are the last resort for the misfortunate.

    In closing they obviously thought highly enough of the very excellent Oceanid vessel as they own, but it takes a lot more than just putting one in your rescue, forgetting about it and just say you have it. Stay Safe so we all return.

    Happy New Year Dave, keep up the great work on the blog, I have all my Captains checking it daily!!

    • dave statter

      Thanks Chief. Happy nerw year to you and yours. Appreciate the kind words. Always makes me happy when somebody gets some use out of this rag.

      Statter

    • Motor City Madman

      Best response to this article yet, Chief. I am no ice rescue expert, but I have trained in those suits. While not cold-proof, they have some thermal quality, and LOTS of dry protection and almost full-buoyancy when zipped all the way up. And as practiced, there were spotters and men on shore with ropes attached to the dry suits. As evidenced by the FF’s in the water looking for a dead body, they were fine once they “fell in”. Get yer ass out there and get close to the victim and throw him the rope ten feet away! You’ll float and get pulled back to shore if you fall in!!! The ONLY reason I can see for not getting close is that he could violently drag you down under. I am not one to Monday morning quarterback, but this one went way wrong.

    • Sharppointy1

      Chief 62, Mark and John, thanks for your answers. I understand better now. :)

  • Tree

    And now, firefighters elsewhere were able to rescue a dog that was trapped on the ice…

  • John

    Sadly, there will be no repercussions on the firefighters and cops. Did you hear the one about the public union employee who got fired? Neither did I. There will probably be a multimillion dollar wrongful death suit against Champaign and who gets the bill? You guessed it, we the taxpayers.

    • Mark too

      Maybe you should get your hearing checked because public union employees do get fired. Yeah, they’ll probably be a lawsuit because that’s what we do these days, however I doubt it’ll get very far. The victim was solely responsible for the situation he was in and from the video posted, despite what some may think, there was no “gross negligence” displayed on the part of the rescuers shown.

    • Motor City Madman

      Nor should there be. There was no wrongdoing, nor rule breaking. In fact, orders and SOPS were probably followed. Were they bad orders and SOP’s. In my opinion, yes, but this is not a disciplinable action. Just a failed rescue. Keep your anti-union crap off this page. It has zero to do with this man’s death.

  • http://none Engine 5er

    They should of known right from the start that the throw bag from the shore would not make it from prior training. Sad. Great comment about technical rescue comparing it to the “Tortiose and the Hare”. That was a fairy tell, this was reality. Slow and steady lost. Sad.

    • Mark too

      Yes, it’s absolutely as sad situation. If you take a closer look at the video, some of the throws did travel far enough to reach the victim. Unfortunately, they were off target. Hitting an exact target at that distance with a floatation ring is not as easy as it looks, even with practice.

      Additionally, while the story may be a fairly tale, the lesson in the story was real. Sure, they could’ve just raced out onto the ice as soon as they got there, but that would’ve been reckless and if they’d fallen in while doing so, then we’d certainly be here chastising them for not following proper procedure. Good chance that would’ve happened even if they didn’t fall in.

      Based on the video and the timeline from the article, I wouldn’t classify twelve minutes to get multiple personnel dressed in the proper PPE for the incident, offload the necessary equipment and move it to the shore area, inflate the boat and deploy the other necessary equipment as being “slow”. That’s how much time passed from the on scene time listed and when they started onto the ice with the boat.

  • Texas Gordo

    Is the Neil Munro from the Daily Caller the same Neil Munro who shouted at the President this summer in the middle of a speech? I think they are one in the same. We live in a society that increasingly offers fame to those who lead notorious lives. I prefer to blunt them with silence and not pay attention with them. Mr. Munro is not setting out to make the world safer for anyone, he is not encouraging a discussion on the best ways to operate in a free and open society, he is seeking to make himself famous through the suffering of others.

  • Dan

    First – Chief 62, excellent post.

    Second – They did everything “by the book”. Without knowing the starting timeline and how long the individual was in the water, a sense of urgency is essential in Ice Rescue. Unfortunately, I did not see that displayed. In watching many of the videos posted these days, I have seen a gross lack of urgency in many cases. There is a big difference between rushing into something and a sense of urgency and it is called command and training.

    Next – The rescue discs work. Throw bags work. If I can’t reach a victim and I am tethered, I would have proceeded out further onto the ice to get more distance.

    Finally, Command was at fault in this case for not having forward thinking in planning. I noticed in the first video that the dive team was not called until 7+ minutes into the video. Probably at least 15 to 20 minutes into the call. We were taught to bring in any potentially needed resources until such time as the situation is resolved. Should have been on the call for this eventuality.

    Yes, they did it right, but could have done it better. Risk a lot to save a lot, risk little to save little. Any human was worth more risk than was demonstrated in this video.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t be a criminal and run from the police and this won’t happen to you!

  • 2w5

    In a cold water suit and a pair using lines from shore could have made a save ..

  • Anonymous

    If they had rushed in and gotten one of their own killed, they would have been called idiots by the same people who are calling for their jobs now…

  • John

    This happens to a lot of people who aren’t criminals. Are we going to have a hearing at the shoreline to determine whether the person is worth saving? Give me a break.

  • Motor City Madman

    By the way…backboards float.

    • BH

      Don’t need to be inflated, either.

  • lawyer

    This is addressed to those who think that because they think that firefighters “followed procedure” and “did nothing wrong” that the City of Champaign won’t be in jeopardy of a large legal judgment. As a practicing attorney I can tell you that the City Attorney if they are self insured or their liability carrier’s attorneys won’t want that video to get within a mile of a jury.
    They’ll do anything to settle because in the hands of a skillful trial attorney, the jury could very likely bankrupt the city with an award given this damning evidence.

    • Mark too

      So what exactly makes this video “damning evidence” that the City could be “in jeopardy of a large legal judgment”?

      I understand the unpredictability aspect of a jury trial verdict, but by what legal standard would that jury be able to find fault with the rescuers to justify a determination of “wrongful death” and award damages?

  • lawyer

    In this case we are talking about a civil judgment, not criminal.
    In a civil case the jury makes their determination according to the “preponderance of the evidence” which is a much lower standard than the criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. In a civil case there is no law they are following. If the plaintiff (the victim’s family) alleges that there was negligence and the jury agrees then the plaintiff prevails. The States Attorney in Illinois would prosecute criminal negligence if he found cause to charge them. If the civil jury finds for the plaintiff then when it comes to awarding damages they don’t have too many limits.
    By “damning evidence” I meant that a skilled civil trial attorney could use that video to paint the firefighters in a very bad light. Remember the Rodney King video? Then you would have civilian witnesses on the scene who thought something was wrong. You would have expert rescue witnesses who would cite chapter and verse about what they did wrong. Finally, since the victim is not there in the trial, he will be portrayed by witnesses as a poor troubled soul who was really a good kid who didn’t deserve to die like this.
    Naturally the city of Champaign would get to counter with their own witnesses but the jury isn’t made up of experts. They look at the video the same way the civilians at the scene did. Trust me, Champaign won’t want to roll the dice on this one.

    • Mark too

      I understand the difference between civil and criminal litigation and I know skilled attorney can make a case for just about anything. The part I’m having trouble with is the “proof of negligence” part. I’m simply not seeing in these videos any legitimate proof of negligence. Yes, it could certainly be argued that they could’ve used some different tactics. Yes, they could’ve walked out closer before trying to throw the rings, but most of us don’t have the necessary information to say if that was a prudent course of action. After all, the ice was obviously thin in at least some parts since the guy fell thru. From what the video shows, their actions were consistent with accepted ice rescue procedures. It only took 12 minutes from the time the first fire unit was marked on scene until the boat was launched. Maybe it could’ve been faster, but not by much. To me, 12 minutes seems reasonable to get sufficient personnel dressed in proper PPE, offload and set up equipment and inflate the boat. Where is the negligence in the video?

  • lawyer

    It doesn’t matter if there is negligence according to some standard you are proposing. The only thing that matters is whether in the minds of the jurors there is negligence. The defendant will argue that there is none. The plaintiff will argue that there is. You are advising a client who could stand to lose many millions if you are wrong. If you advise them to settle, they lose fewer millions and aren’t judged negligent. It is the city who must make the final decision but in civil litigation perception, not facts, is the only reality which matters.

  • Old head

    And Voila! There is the problem with civil litigation. Who cares about those pesky facts anyway?

  • lawyer

    I should have said that in any litigation, perception rules over facts. It is the jury who is the “finder of fact”. Each juror brings their own perceptions and biases into the court. So what they are persuaded is fact becomes fact once they rule. It is no less so in criminal trials. So if the perception of juries is a “problem” then we can dispense with them and just have bench trials where the perception of the judge rules.
    In my experience this is not the case you want to go before a jury. The firefighters and the city which employs them might be surprised what a jury determines the facts to be. And that surprise could be very costly.

  • 8truck

    Please note. I am not trained in water/ice rescue but I have some knowledge being that our dept is the water/ice rescue team for the county. First off. The personnel throwing the rope bags/ring should have had PFD’s. That being said they could have easily tied the guys off and had them swim out to the victim. Simple as that. Second, that “rescue raft” inflates in under 90 seconds. Third those boats are junk. A simple ice sled could have been deployed and reached the victim in the same amount of time they took throwing the rings. Just pop up the rails, tie it off and go. If you’re going to get into a technical rescue area you have to train to the highest possible standards and constantly train because it’s not an everyday or even yearly event. Lastly, rescuers need to be able to don their water rescue/ice ppe in the matter of minutes.

  • Old head

    8truck:
    At least you admit you’re not trained in water/ice rescue. It shows. Would you jump into a room full of fire with no PPE? You suggest essentially the same thing by saying the guys on shore with PFD’s should leap into the water, swim out to the victim and rescue him. I suggest everyone here bashing the FD on 10 minutes of video get a bucket of 40 degree water, put your hand in it and see if you can hold it there for five minutes. Even if you can do it your hand will not work. Yes EVERYONE near the water should be wearing a PFD, that is strictly for self preservation. Anyone who gets in the water should don at minimum an Ice Commander, and they should be able to don it in a minute or less. As for the oceanid “banana boat” being junk what do you base it on? We use them for swiftwater, still water and ice rescue, they are extremely versatile and can be deployed in one minute by a crew that trains with them. There was one comment here that says it all: Monday morning quarterback is the safest job in the world.

    • 8truck

      You misread my commnt sir. I said the guys in cold water suits without a PFD could have easily donned one and had a shoreline tied to them and effected a “GO” rescue. Much like the dept who rescued the dog did.

    • 8truck

      I base my junk comment off of several depts who have owned one in our area. They’re not nearly as effective as a boat or ice sled. We bought our equipment based off of numerous reviews from instructors and other water rescue teams. Our team did multiple evolutions with most of the equipment out there and they choose the equipment that worked best.

  • Old head

    Going by the majority of the comments on this incident lawyer slam dunked it when he said “…perception rules over facts.”

  • lawyer

    I did say that the perception of the evidence is what rules with a jury but I believe it is inaccurate to say that a jury or even the majority of those commenting here are necessarily wrong in their perception of the events just because they don’t have all the technical knowledge of experts. The experts may have an agenda which may lead them to portray the events in the most favorable light. Juries have to deal with expert witnesses all the time and have to weigh whether they are genuine or if they are just saying what their client (plaintiff or defendant) wants them to say. People without expert technical knowledge have a way of getting at the truth more often than not. In this case we have had people with apparent technical knowledge who disagree. So we can’t lump all the people with rescue experience in one camp and put everyone else in in the other. This will get sorted out one way or the other.

  • Retired

    A spent 24 years as a professional rescuer and performed many ice rescues and body recoveries.

    I do agree that any rescuer, career or volunteer, would not want to stand by without responding.

    Please do not be armchair quarterbacks. This gentleman lost his life and it is very unfortunate. Which one of us has not made a mistake in life?!

    Departments have protocols and procedures to follow. An inquest will identify and provide us with the facts.

    Peace of Christ to all.