'Treat all kinds of ice surfaces as hazardous': Fire Department

By Taylor Chartrand
March 14, 2019 - 5:26pm Updated: March 14, 2019 - 7:18pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB - With the warming temperatures, the City of Medicine Hat and its fire fighters are reminding people to avoid bodies of water.

"We're just urging residents to take caution around any body of water," explained Acting Captain, Jason Labash. "Ice, creeks, rivers and ponds. Treat all kinds of ice surfaces as hazardous."

Labash says caution should also be taken when people are walking their pets.

"Obviously, the fire service is concerned about everyone, but also your pets as well. So, if you have your pets walking alongside ice and bodies of water, try and keep them on a leash or within an arms reach. They can venture out on to the ice after some wildlife or geese and that's when you could follow them out there, leading to trouble."

If you were in a situation where you were to break through the ice, Labash suggests you remain calm.

"Call for help and try not to break up too much ice. Find somewhere that's secure. You have about a minute to self-rescue, if you can't get out within that time, just keep your head above water. Try to find something buoyant, so maybe the ice-shelf itself. If you can freeze your arms to it, that would be ideal."

Labash says in the past, they have dealt with calls in regards to both wildlife and people breaking through the ice.

"If you see someone on a body of ice and are concerned, be a good neighbor and tell them it probably isn't safe to be on the ice right now. That goes a long way."

Labash says if you happen to see someone or something fall through the ice, don't hesitate to give the Fire Department a call.

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