Warnings are being issued in Indiana to avoid going onto ice. Frozen ponds may seem sturdy enough to support a person’s weight, but the ice is too thin and that person will fall in.
“When people venture out on the ice, they think it’s good and next you know, they fall through. That’s when these incidents turn tragic,” said Bargersville Deputy Fire Chief, Mike Pruitt. “If they’ve been in that water for an extended period of time – even just a matter of five to ten minutes – that’s where we get into a problem where people don’t survive.”
Pruitt warns to stay away from the ice. If you see a pet, child, or an adult on the ice warn them to get to safety. Call 911 immediately so firefighters can show up to also warn them off the ice, or save their life if they fall in.
Instead of going after them yourself to help, Pruitt says, throw in something they can hold onto that can float to get closer to the edge of the water until help arrives. Rope, an extension cord, or even a jug filled with air.
If they do get out, the threat of hypothermia is still present. “The main thing is, get them inside to warm. Get those clothes off of them,” said Pruitt, “Still call 911 because we need to get them checked out by EMS even if they manage to self-rescue.”
Ice is generally safe to walk on when it’s 4 inches thick or more. Deputy Chief Pruitt warns that while there may be areas where ice is that thick, it’s not consistent and poses too great of a risk to walk on.
There’s only one way to be certain you will never fall in, “The best thing to do is stay off the ice completely. Don’t trust it,” said Pruitt, “Just remember there is no such thing as safe ice around here.”