GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

‘They seemed really calm’: Off-duty firefighter assists with Green Bay ice rescue

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)- At least twenty-seven people were rescued from the ice along the Bay of Green Bay on Saturday.

Sam Greenberg is a volunteer firefighter with Southern Door County who was off-duty at the time and went to assist.

“Even before I got down to our property down there, I could see out in the water a large crack had developed on that ice,” said Greenberg.

He recently moved to the Town of Scott, and always keeps equipment ready to step in. “I spoke to the New Franken Fire Chief and told him I can help out. He told me to suit up,” said Greenberg.

Mutual aid was activated for the rescue. “We had a number of jurisdictions that took part. The sheriff’s department, along with New Franken Fire, Green Bay Fire and Rescue, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the United States Coast Guard,” said Lieutenant John Bain, Brown County patrol.

He said all of the agencies worked together well. “Bringing all of those entities together and getting them in a situation where they are able to communicate and work seamlessly is always the goal,” said Bain.

The rescue took place right in Daniel Larson’s backyard- literally- and when he saw what was happening he fired up his drone.

“Some of the Ice Fishermen were on the land side and others were on the Bay side, and I thought holy cow this is pretty big,” said Larson.

Larson says the crack was as long the eye could see. “I took a shot up into the north and you could see the ice break that just continued for miles.”

There were initial reports of a barge coming through breaking up the ice. “It was a large ship that had just gone through. I could still see it out there and I believe that ship had disturbed that ice,” said Greenberg.

Lt. Bain couldn’t confirm that report. “We weren’t able to confirm that with complete certainty. We believe that may have been a factor along with wind and current conditions,” said Bain.

No one was hurt in the course of the rescue. Anyone participating in outdoor activities is encouraged to keep up with current forecasts.

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