The dramatic rescue is caught in the Moosonee; We knew it was a very traumatic situation: we either get it or he dies. That is why our men risked their lives to get it.
In a dramatic rescue from an avalanche in the Far North, a woman is rescued from the ice minutes before the spring breakup.
It happened on the Moose River in Moosonee on Sunday April 30th around 9:30pm.
Moosonee Fire Chief Scott Grant said he got a call about someone screaming for help on the ice.
“Everyone’s fine. She’s fine, she’s healthy. The firefighters are fine… I just want to point out that we have a group of volunteers out there who are risking their lives for the community. We took her to the clinic which is about three minutes away. In the car, a deputy called me.” The chief said, “Hey, the river just came out and the ice just disappeared.” “Where I stood, it wasn’t just a fall, everything collapsed,” Grant said.
Working with the fire department, paramedics from James Bay County Police and the Winnapico Area Health Authority (WAHA) responded to the scene.
It was too dark to see the victim, so the firefighters used a method somewhat new to the department to find the victim, who was a woman in her twenties.
“We used our drone with our thermal camera and located the person and once we did that we actually hovered our drone right over the individual so our snow walking guys could see where they were going to get it,” he said. .
The woman was on the ice of the river between Moosonee and Charles Island, located between Moosonee and Moose Factory. It turned out to be about 450 yards from Musoni Beach.
Spring and snow on the river complicated the rescue operation.
All firefighters are certified icy water rescue technicians. Grant explained that firefighters who venture onto the ice are tied to the beach so they can be shot at any time.
“It’s very dangerous and the Moose River is a very violent river, it’s a very fast river and an avalanche was imminent, so we knew how dangerous it was to get this guy out of the ice,” he said.
Before leaving, Grant said they knew the water in the river had begun moving and collapsing about three to five kilometers upstream.
“We knew it was a very painful situation, we either kill her or she dies, which is why our men risked their lives to get her,” he said.
The Moosonee Volunteer Fire Department has a staff of 28. There are two dispatchers, five members of the drone team, and the rest are firefighters.
Grant said he invested about a year and a half ago in a drone that cost about $40,000.
Since its use as a tool, it has been used 12 times.
“Wednesday night we had a lost person who helped the drone team recover and get to the hospital safely as well. So this is the second rescue in a week that our drone team has been able to carry out.”