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Pickering Fire Services Warns Residents of Ice Hazards

Posted on Wednesday January 14, 2015

Pickering Fire Services is warning that the lake and local watercourses are not completely frozen, making them unsafe to skate, walk, play, or snowmobile on despite the recent cold snap.

It is extremely important that parents supervise their children around bodies of water and educate them about the dangers of thin ice. On-ice activities such as pond hockey, ice fishing, and snowmobiling, while fun, can also be dangerous. Currently the ice is unstable, making it hazardous to venture out under any circumstance.

Last year, Pickering Fire Services responded to more than half a dozen ice and water rescues involving people, pets and vehicles, and is reminding the public to not attempt to rescue any pets that fall through the ice, as it is proven to be weak.  

Those enjoying recreational activities near water are responsible for their personal safety and are encouraged to make smart choices to help reduce the risk of accidents that put both the victim and responding emergency services personnel in danger.

Safety Tips:

  • If you are not sure if the ice is thick enough to support you, stay off.  Take into consideration the recent changes in the weather.
  • Go with a buddy and tell someone where you are going, and what time you are expected back.
  • Carry a cell phone to report emergencies.

If you are by yourself and fall through thin ice:

  • Call for help.
  • Resist the immediate urge to climb back out from where you fell in, as the ice has proven to be weak.
  • Use the air trapped in your clothing to get into a floating position on your stomach.
  • Reach forward on to the broken ice without pushing down. Kick your legs to push your torso on 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 going in the right direction.

The City of Pickering does not identify places for safe skating, or mark potential hazards. If someone falls through ice, witnesses should call 911 immediately. Pickering firefighters have the training and equipment to perform ice water rescues.

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As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.

Media Contact:

Julie Ineson CFEI
Fire Inspector | Fire Services Department
905.420.4660 ext. 8517  |  1.866.683.2760  TTY 905.420.1739
jineson@pickering.ca