Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Calgary Fire Department reminds about dangers of icy waterways

The Calgary Fire Department reminds Calgarians to be cautious around ice covering bodies of water and the banks of Calgary waterways.

“To make sure you and your family are safe, you should always stay off ice that is covering a lake, pond, river or waterway because you cannot be sure of its depth or stability,” says Carol Henke, Public Information Officer, Calgary Fire Department.

“As the weather keeps changing, it's difficult to assess how thick ice might be or how much it has melted.

“It's best to stay safe and stay off.”

Accidentally falling through ice can happen very quickly and the danger of hypothermia or other injuries can be very serious.

Recent incidents were close calls for several Calgarians

At the end of March, a Calgary woman was rescued from the water after she followed her dogs into Elliston Lake, where they had fallen in. And this month, two boys were rescued after falling through ice covering a pond in Valleyview Park.

“If you see anyone who has fallen through the ice, please call 9-1-1 and do not attempt to go out into the water. Stay on shore and encourage them to kick and pull themselves on the ice until help arrives.”

Stay safely back and keep pets on a leash

The Calgary Fire Department also suggests keeping a safe distance from river banks and lake shores when you can see ice in the water or around shores and banks. When taking pets to parks or on walks close to waterways, keep them on a leash so they don’t fall through the ice.

Henke says if you do fall through ice into water, stay calm, control your breathing and keep your head out of the water. Call for help and try to pull yourself onto the ice on your stomach and roll towards the shore where the ice may be thicker. 

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