Annual Ice and Cold Water Rescue Training

This week, the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Fire Department held its annual joint ice and cold water rescue training alongside Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Police Services Marine Unit.

Ice and cold water rescue is performed by emergency services when a person is trapped on the ice, has fallen through the ice, or is immersed in cold water. By using specialized equipment and techniques, emergency responders can execute rescues on ice in a quick and safe manner. Working closely with our emergency response partners, the joint training with Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Police services ensures a fully coordinated response to any situation.

To protect emergency responders in the icy water, dry suits, neoprene gloves and headwear are worn to insulate against the cold. During the emergency simulations, the teams trained with specialized equipment including Marsars boards, which act as floating stretchers; rescue rings; throw bags that contain rope; and reach poles. As ice rescue operations are fairly rare, these practice scenarios allow the emergency rescue team to refresh their skills in executing rescues on ice and ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest techniques.


The ice and cold water training is one of many regular training programs held by the Billy Bishop Airport Fire Department throughout the year. The airport’s fire department does regular internal and external emergency services training throughout the year, including a full-scale simulation every two years. These exercises test the airport’s protocols, procedures, communications and planning for emergency and security-related incidents, and ensure that the airport is ready to respond to any situation.

To read more about emergency preparedness at Billy Bishop Airport, click here.