The Fire Department wants to remind everyone the dangers of thin ice. With 34 lakes in Waterford, along with other small bodies of water, this danger for our residents, visitors and animals is very real.
Clear or blue ice is the strongest ice. Honeycombed, slushing ice can be very dangerous. Less than 2 inches of ice on the lakes are dangerous. STAY OFF. 4 inches of ice is safe for Ice fishing, and other ice sports, but remember…
THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES ON THE ICE.
Always consider ice potentially dangerous. Assess ice safety by using a drill or some other tool in the ice to determine its thickness and condition. Ice thickness can change in different places on the ice, especially near inlets or outlets.
If you do go out on the ice, let someone know of your plan: where on the ice you will be, time on the ice, etc. Ice awls are essential and inexpensive for someone venturing out on the ice in case you do fall through.
Falling into the cold water can begin to slow your physical and mental abilities very quickly, but you have to work to get yourself out. If you do fall through, begin by calling out for help. Immediately, kick your legs and push yourself up and out with your arms. Use the ice awls that you brought and had around your neck. Once you are out roll yourself towards the shore.
If you see someone fall through the ice, immediately call 911. Then use the Reach, Throw, Go for help method. Reach from shore, or Throw a tree branch, rope or other item, then Go for help. Do not go out on the ice to rescue a victim, or you could become a victim yourself.
If you see an animal fall through the ice, call 911. Do not go out on the ice to rescue the animal. Many animal lovers become victims trying to rescue the animals.
The Waterford Regional Fire Department trains every year on cold water rescue. We have the cold water suits, rope and other equipment necessary for safe rescues. Please be safe out there.