How to stay safe out on the ice

Local News

Its been so cold many ponds, creeks and even lakes have started to freeze. 

But before you step out onto the ice, take a word of caution from firefighters. 

“We recommend that people stay off the ice,” said  Lt. Shane Metcalfe. “In our opinion there is no such thing as safe ice, regardless of how thick it is or may appear.” 

It’s an important message, but one that’s not always heeded says Metcalfe with the Ridge Culver Fire Department. 

“Unfortunately we do know people are going to go out whether it’s fishing, or using recreational vehicles,” said Metcalfe. “So we recommend that it’s at least 4 to 5 inches thick.” 

Four inches of thick ice is needed to support a persons body weight. Five inches for a small group of people spread out, and any vehicle, such as a snowmobile or bigger, needs at least 6-12 inches. 

“We always recommend going out with somebody on the ice,” said Metcalfe. “Never go out on the ice alone.” 

Also, having a plan in case you fall through. That includes having easy access to 911.

In the event that your pet sinks through the ice, the fire department says call them first and let them handle the matter.” 

“We don’t want to create more victims, we don’t want to have to rescue more people,” said Metcalfe.

All in all, leave the rescue to the professionals who have the proper equipment and training to help.

The Ridge Culver Fire Department says on average, they experience less than five ice rescue missions a year. 

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