A routine practice for Missouri firefighters on an icy lake Tuesday quickly turned into a real-life rescue effort.
Firefighters with the Maryland Heights Fire Protection District were training on Creve Coeur Lake in Maryland Heights, Missouri, when they suddenly noticed two teenagers — aged 15 and 17 — had fallen through the ice.
“Training was wrapping up when one of our chiefs spotted 2 people running across the lake,” a description from Maryland Heights Fire Protection District reads. “In less than 15 seconds of the teens being spotted running across, the ice broke, and they were in the water.”
Suddenly, the mock rescue mission turned into a real-life retrieval, with those present immediately putting their skills to use to get the teens out of the water. The temperature was, of course, a primary concern.
“The water just below the ice was just below freezing,” firefighter Steve Rinehart said.
Luckily, the teens were taken out of the water in “a very timely fashion,” with other fire districts and police officers showing up to help.
Footage of the five-minute rescue shows the teens being grabbed and pulled across the ice by firefighters.
Watch the video:
Firefighter Steve Rinehart said these sorts of rescues are why he and others do what they do.
“It’s our job. That’s what we do,” he said. “That’s why we’re firemen.”
Firefighters also offered a cautionary warning to anyone in the public who hears about the story: “stay off the ice.”
“These 2 were lucky with their outcome because we had crews within seconds,” the description reads. “But not everyone is that lucky.”
Unfortunately, firefighters said Wednesday they saw new footprints on the ice, despite the highly-publicized rescue and warnings to avoid walking on it. They, again, reiterated their call for safety.
The teens were examined at a local hospital and will reportedly recover, despite showing signs of hypothermia.
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