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Stay off the ice: Emergency responders warn

November 19, 2018

As temperatures start to drop, Winnipeg’s emergency responders are warning people to stay away from rivers and ponds.

“We ask everyone to stay off our ice,” Ray Duma with the Winnipeg Police Service River Patrol Unit said.

It can be difficult for someone who falls through the ice to pull themselves to safety.

“You risk getting trapped and sucked underneath it because the river currents are still flowing,” Fred deGroot, public information officer with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service said. “In retention ponds you can get caught up in debris in the bottom, your feet could get stuck in the mud.”

Venturing out on the ice also puts emergency crews at risk.

“They face falling through the ice, getting swept under the ice flows, so it is very dangerous for them,” deGroot said.

Winnipeg Police Service has already responded to calls of people on the ice.

“It’s generally kids that are younger venturing out on the ice,” Duma said. “We aren’t seeing adults going out on the ice right now.”

Parents are being urged to remind their children to stay away from the ice. Duma also recommends for teachers to bring the topic up in class.

“Please tell students and young children at risk about the dangers about the ice and stay away from it,” he said.

If you spot someone on the ice you should call 911 and have a detailed description of where you are and what you see.

“Try to stay on scene because you can tell emergency personnel what you have seen and where the person is on the ice so they can get them off as soon as possible,” Duma said.