Metro West Fire Protection District firefighters and paramedics remind Wildwood residents of the dangers that are posed by ponds and other bodies of water that freeze.
Last Saturday's icy water rescue involving a puppy who went onto ice to play with geese in Wildwood accentuated the pitfalls of frozen water in the winter: Wildwood Dog Rescued from Icy Pond by Monarch Firefighters
Metro West Chief of Fire and EMS Services Vincent Loyal said while frozen water may be appealing, and seem exciting, the dangers are real, immediate, and potentially fatal.
"In many incidents this single decision can put friends, family and emergency responders lives at risk," he said.
Caution signs will be distributed to any subdivision, business or school requesting them for posting while the ice is present. “We hope this reminder causes anyone considering playing on ice to think twice. It is something that we feel is a hidden, and not often thought about emergency, that needs attention,” said Tim Flora, chairman of the Metro West Board of Directors.
"Our community certainly has significant risks when it comes to this issue. We have over 125 bodies of water that freeze in our fire district alone," said Loyal. "Each winter season, we have people falling through the ice while playing. Stay safe and stay alive."
Everyone is asked to stay off the ice, but in cases where someone falls through ice, Metro West experts said there are a few things to remember:
- Call 911 IMMEDIATELY. Metro West firefighters are professional rescuers, and are highly trained with the proper equipment to help.
- Talk to the person and tell them to stay calm and kick while propping themselves up on the edge of the ice.
- Tell them to keep kicking and carefully pull themselves up on the ice.
- Tell them to lay flat and slowly roll off the ice. NEVER STAND UP!