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Firefighters travel to Maine for ice rescue training

WESTBROOK (WGME) -- Firefighters from all over the country are in Maine this weekend plunging into the frigid waters of the Presumpscot River.

These first responders are going through three days of ice rescue training. Participants learn life-saving techniques they can use to save someone who's gone through the ice. They are taught how to make the ice rescue without putting themselves in danger.

The purpose of this academy is to train firefighters as ice rescue instructors themselves, so when they complete the training they can train others at their own departments.

The frequency of fires that a fire fighter experiences are greatly reduced from what they were 10 years 20 years 30 years ago. So now we're finding firefighters are basically being called for a lot of medical emergencies, they're being called for water rescue and ice rescue incidents. We've got a department here in Maine where this is the first time they've had formal ice rescue training," said Gerald Dworkin, a Lifesaving Resources Instructor.

The training happened in Westbrook Friday before moving on to Kennebunkport tomorrow.