• Published: March 4, 2019

WRI Instructors recently led an Oil Under Ice Spill Response Training on Lake Pend O’Reille near Sandpoint, Idaho. Winter conditions present unique challenges for Inland Oil Spill Response. WRI teamed up with local first responders, Sam Owen Fire Department, Selkirk Fire Department and BNSF staff and contractors to practice with specialized equipment for winter spill response conditions.  Respected Sandpoint journalists showed up to document the training with this report on Winter Spill Response.


Cold Weather spill response presents unique challenges and hazards to responders. Proper personal equipment and training are a great first step in addressing these risks and challenges. Responders should assume all ice is unsafe to walk on until it has been evaluated. All participants at the training work helmets and lifejackets on the ice. WRI Instructors wore drysuits and facilitated ice rescue and self rescue drills for participants with Mustang survival and specialized Ice Rescue Drysuits.

Ice Spill Response Training

“When we work with the Whitewater Rescue Institute, we know that our students are receiving the most relevant skills and information, from the source. Their instructors are the recognized leaders in the field and, as importantly, incredible educators. They get our students out in the water, experiencing phenomenally realistic, challenging and yet manageable scenarios, and follow those up with concise and direct feedback. Nothing could be better.”

Dave McEvoy, Director, Aerie Backcountry Medicine
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