With the recent close call in Evanston, storm pond safety awareness is crucial to keep ourselves and our children safe. Calgary’s weather can be quite unpredictable as we head into spring, and we have seen how quickly our temperatures can change. In anticipation of the warmer weather, it’s important our children can safely play outside. I have received concerns from constituents regarding ice safety, and I would like to share some important tips from Canadian Red Cross.
Knowing the Dangers of Ice
Several factors may affect the thickness of ice: type of water, location, time of year, and environmental factors. The colour of ice may be an indication of its fragility. Clear blue ice is sturdiest, while white opaque or snow ice is half as strong as blue ice. Most importantly, grey ice is unsafe! The grayness indicates the presence of water. Always obey posted signs indicating when and where ice surface is acceptable for activities. Avoid going out on ice at night and stay off storm ponds.
If you fall into ice and are alone:
- Call for help. Resist the immediate urge to climb back out where you fell in. The ice is weak in this area.
- Try to relax and catch your breath. Turn yourself toward shore so you are looking at where you entered onto the ice. The ice is more stable close to shore.
- Reach forward onto the broken ice without pushing down. Kick your legs to try to get your body into a horizonal position. Continue kicking your legs, and crawl onto the ice.
- When you are back on the ice, crawl on your stomach or roll away from the open area with your arms and legs spread out as far as possible to evenly distribute your body weight. Do not stand up! Look for shore and make sure you are crawling in the right direction.
If someone you are with falls into ice:
- Call for help. Consider whether you can quickly get help from trained professionals (police, fire fighters or ambulance) or bystanders.
- Check if you can reach the person using a long pole or branch from shore – if so, lie down and extend the pole to the person.
- If you go onto ice, wear a personal flotation device if you have one, and carry a long pole or branch to test the ice in front of you. Bring something to reach or throw to the person (e.g. pole, weighted rope, line or tree branch).
- When near the break, lie down to distribute your weight and slowly crawl toward the hole. Remaining low, extend or throw your emergency rescue device (pole, rope, line or branch) to the person.
- Have the person kick while you pull them out.
Knowing these important tips will help keep our kids safe as we enjoy the outdoors and warmer weather. Please contact my office if you have any questions or areas of concerns to report.
Categories: General, SNIC, Safety, Snow, Tips