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No Ice is Safe Ice!

AIRDRIE, ALBERTA – The Airdrie Fire Department has advice for anyone who may want to test the thickness of natural ice surfaces in the city, "Don't do it!"

Dramatically fluctuating temperatures have now made all natural ice surfaces in our city unpredictable and extremely dangerous.

The danger is that ice seldom freezes uniformly. Ice will be thinner when it is formed over moving water, and where it surrounds partially submerged objects such as rocks or vegetation.

Snow covered ice and ice that has thawed and refrozen is not as strong as new, clear hard ice. So many factors can cause thickness and the strength to vary drastically.

Ensure that children understand the potential dangers of spring ice. Parents and guardians should discuss the danger of playing on or near natural waterways with their children. Ice conditions are currently, extremely unpredictable.

Always keep a pet on a leash. If a pet falls through the ice do not attempt a rescue – call 9-1-1 or go for help. This is a situation with high risk to anyone not trained or equipped to survive submersion in cold water.

It's crucial to plan and be adequately prepared to deal with an ice emergency. Personal flotation device or float coat, ice picks, a signalling device like a pea-less whistle, cell phone and using the buddy system will help in the event of an ice emergency. Despite the dangers some people will venture onto the ice in pursuit of winter recreational activities, such as cross-country skiing, ice skating and ice fishing.

If you fall through the ice, don’t try and climb out immediately. Instead turn back in the direction you came from. Reach forward onto the ice. Get horizontal and kick your feet and try to slide back up onto the ice. Once out of the water crawl or roll away. Avoid standing until you are well clear of the weak ice.

Airdrie Firefighters are professionals who regularly train to manage ice rescue emergencies.

If you see unsafe behavior on natural ice surfaces in your community call 9-1-1.

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Media contact:
Deputy Chief James Kostuk
403.948.8800 ext.7889