‘Gravely concerned’: Edmonton Fire Rescue Services reminds residents to stay off the ice

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Edmonton Fire Rescue Services has responded to seven North Saskatchewan river rescue calls over the last two weeks, nearly a 50 per cent increase compared to the same time last year.

“I am gravely concerned about the individual who doesn’t adhere to the warnings that result in river rescues, which put the safety of citizens and our first responders in jeopardy,” said Bruce McWhinnie, chief of special operations with Edmonton Fire in a news release.

“If you are pulled under an ice shelf, we can’t get to you.”

The fire service is reminding Edmontonians that walking on ice is never safe and while it may appear to be thick, there can be weak areas that can give way at any moment. The risk is the same for all bodies of water, including the North Saskatchewan River, creaks and stormwater facilities.

People are also at risk of hypothermia if they fall through the ice, which reduces the ability to pull yourself out of the water.

If you witness a person or animal fall through the ice, call 911, maintain a point of reference for the location and do not attempt a rescue, add fire officials.


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