FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
With the frigid temperatures, waterways, swimming pools and stormwater channels and basins that appear frozen can be inviting as areas for play.
Fire Chief David Pennington and Battalion Chief of EMS and Special Operations Brian Athen want to remind the public that this is a very dangerous activity that could lead to a life-threatening emergency.
“While at the surface the ice appears solid and capable of supporting your weight, the reality is much different which could result in falling through the ice into very cold water,” Pennington says. “This becomes a dangerous and very serious situation very quickly.”
While temperatures are very cold now, the fluctuation of temperatures does not allow for ice to become thick enough to safely walk or sled on, Athen said.
If you witness someone playing on ice or has fallen through the ice, the Fire Department wants to remind you of a few important actions to help save a life.
- Call 9-1-1 so that the Water Rescue Team is promptly notified and responding.
- If it is safe to do so, maintain voice and visual contact with the victim. Provide encouragement and assurance that help is on the way. Be prepared to assist in guiding responders to the location. Do not attempt rescue.
“Often the urge to help is overwhelming. However, those actions would likely result in additional persons needing to be rescued,” Athen said.
“Please, for your safety, just stay off the ice,” Pennington said.
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For media only: For more information, call the Springfield Fire Department media line at 417-874-2301.