CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Video shows firefighters and police attempting to rescue a man after he fell into a frozen lake while trying to flee authorities.
Kenneth Brown Jr., 20, died after he was trapped in the freezing waters of a retention pond for more than an hour before rescuers could get him out, according to the News-Gazette.
Brown was running from police after they responded to a domestic dispute call in the area, when he started jogging across a frozen lake and fell in.
22 fire personnel showed up to help rescue Brown, while officers tried to communicate with him.
Firefighters and an officer suited up to help rescue Brown and were being tethered together when other crew members threw a rescue disc, hoping Brown would grab it, but he didn't.
The newspaper reports that crews waited for a rescue raft to be inflated, and as crews went onto the ice to retrieve Brown, he had gone underwater. Crews were told the water was only waist-deep, but it was actually as much as 18-feet deep.
Six different firefighters and one police officer were in the water attempting to rescue Brown. Crews eventually had to dive to get Brown and transport him to the hospital where he later died.
Champaign Deputy Fire Chief Eric Mitchell said rescuers did all they could.
"They followed our ice-rescue guidelines pretty much to a T," Mitchell said. "It's a very low frequency (event) but a very high-risk rescue. They did exactly what they were supposed to do. They established command ... they made visual contact and attempted to talk to him, threw rescue devices, and went on the water. Going on the water is the last thing you want to do. They did all the other things first.”
Deputy Police Chief Joe Gallo said bystanders kept urging rescuers to get into the water to save Brown, but he said waiting for firefighters was the best decision.
Chief Mitchell agreed, saying charging into the water was not "safe for anybody. It might look like fiddling, but it's making sure the person is safe to do his job because you don't want to lose a rescuer."
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Angela Dee DionneMonday, January 07, 2013 6:56:00 PMwe must be safe before we can save anyone else or you will then have done nothing but make the situation worse and then they would have more to save and that would make it even more unsafe for everyone.
Rob ReusinkMonday, January 07, 2013 7:02:02 PMomg that took an hr.
Julie DavidsonMonday, January 07, 2013 7:07:51 PMSafety first. One of the FIRST things we are taught in EMS/1st Responder classes. You run in without thoughts of safety and then there are 2 patients or 2 casualties. Unfortunately the general public watches too much TV and thinks we should do anything.
Jamie Sturm LefletMonday, January 07, 2013 7:19:02 PMI saw nothing wrong they attempted the rescue... risking their lives, they did not put this person in the situation in the first place and since he refused to grab the disk, it seemed he was evading rescue just as he evade police contact... good rescue... bad results, we wish we could save them all, but it is not the reality of the job.
Mark McGinleyMonday, January 07, 2013 7:30:53 PMWhy didn't one of the Firefighters in the mustang suits go in tethered to a rescue line before the boat was inflated to secure the victim?
Andrew J OkeyMon Jan 7 19:38:35 PST 2013Why not just throw a rope out ? Looks to be less than 100'. For this kid to die is a shame!
Teresa J WagnerMon Jan 7 19:45:49 PST 2013That was hard to watch. And could have probably had a better outcome. If you're wearing the right equipment (a mustang suit?) and tethered to someone on land, I'd think you would feel safe going in to try and rescue someone.
Edward TsyiteeMon Jan 7 21:10:02 PST 2013Going in to warm water and getting wet is hard enough. Going in to freezing water is something else altogether
Edward TsyiteeMon Jan 7 21:10:47 PST 2013 Andrew J Okey They did throe a life line to him, he didn't get it
Edward TsyiteeMon Jan 7 21:11:42 PST 2013 Teresa J Wagner Feeling safe and being safe, two different things
Shawn WannerMonday, January 07, 2013 7:50:40 PMIf the guy didn't run from the cops in the first place he would still be alive!