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The original item was published from 12/19/2020 12:39:00 PM to 12/19/2020 12:43:59 PM.

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Posted on: December 19, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Man saved from icy water

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 At 10:45 a.m. on December 19, the Idaho Falls Fire Department was dispatched to the Snake River at the Gem Lake Marina, 2761 W. 49th South for a report of a male who had fallen in the icy water.

Reportedly, the man and his wife were walking near the river when their dog fell in the water. The male went in to save the dog. The dog was able to make it out of the water safely, but the male was unable to pull himself out. The reporting person told dispatch that the male was sinking in the river but that his head was above the water.

Two ambulances, one engine, the ladder truck and a battalion chief responded from the Idaho Falls Fire Department. Several deputies from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office also responded.   

When IFFD ambulance personnel arrived, they tossed a rope to the victim who was holding onto the ice approximately 30 feet from the shore. A firefighter who was on the ladder truck was in his water rescue suit and ready to go when he arrived. He quickly jumped into the icy water, wrapped a rope under the victim’s arm and assisted the man to the shore where additional personnel helped him into the ambulance. The 56-year-old male was transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in stable condition. 

Sock IFFD Photos:  The Idaho Falls Fire Department has several members who are trained in swift water rescue who train on the Snake River in summer and winter conditions.

Media note: There are no images or video of today’s ice rescue. Ice Water Rescue Training

Media Contact: Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer, (208) 612-8122,

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