Firefighters, teacher team up for ice rescue demonstration

A Countryside Fire Protection District crew teamed with a Vernon Hills High School teacher to demonstrate icy water rescues for students Thursday.

Outdoor/adventure education teacher Jerry Miceli played the victim for the demonstrations, which were staged at a pond near the school's football stadium. He donned a protective, insulated suit before repeatedly submersing himself in the water.

The students were told how to save themselves if they fall into a partially frozen lake and also how to save other people using ladders, rope or even extension cords.

Afterward, Miceli said he'd like to run more demonstrations that would require students to participate in the rescue attempts.

"You can learn from a PowerPoint (presentation), but unless you do it, I don't think you get the full benefit," he said.

  Students take pictures of Vernon Hills High School teacher Jerry Miceli, left, as he puts on a cold water rescue suit during an ice rescue demonstration with the Countryside Fire Protection District. Steve Lundy/
  Students hold safety ropes as Kyle Schrems of the Countryside Fire Protection District crawls out on a frozen pond to rescue Vernon Hills High School teacher Jerry Miceli, right, during a demonstration Thursday. Steve Lundy/
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