‘Let us get them’; Local Fire Departments retrieve more than a dozen hockey nets from ponds

Area fire departments are urging the public not to attempt to retrieve hockey nets left on storm water ponds.

“The ice is starting to break off so we really, really caution people to stay away,” says Cpt. Ron Vermeltfoort of the London Fire Department (LFD) water rescue team.

This weekend, LFD scouted out at least five water bodies in the city where nets had been left, and their expert water rescue team spent a large portion of Saturday getting them out of the ice.

“No ice is safe ice, especially right now this time of year,” says Vermeltfoort.

“The other thing is you’re not going to get the nets out of the ice or after the thaw because they’re frozen into the ice surface. So leave the nets out there.

The St. Thomas Fire Department also was busy doing the same thing. They had identified a few locations where nets were left out.

The St. Thomas Fire Department retrieves multiple hockey nets from a pond on Centennial Ave in St. Thomas, Ont. (Brent Lale / CTV News)“Our concern is that if people come out and see the nets are going to try and go and get them and the ice may not be thick or could be able to hold them,” says Platoon Chief Warren Scott of the St. Thomas Fire Department (STFD).

“We use as a training exercise, come out and get our equipment out, and go do it just like we would if there was a rescue.”

Being ‘geared up’ was a good chance for some of the less experienced fire fighters to get their feet wet.

“I’m one of the junior guys so we’re actually doing our drills out here,” says Grant Finnegan, a STFD fire fighter.

“It’s good to actually just get out and do the training at a time before we actually have an emergency.”

Scott supervised the retrievals and was happy to see how well they executed the mission.

“It’s a good thing young guys like Grant get to come out and get to use the equipment and experience what it might be like to do a rescue.”

Both fire departments are urging the public if you see a net on the ice, call it in so they can retrieve them safely.

“We’d much rather be going to get hockey nets off the ice than having to do an actual rescue,” says Vermeltfoort. “So stay away from the ice.” 


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