Edmonton rescue officials remind residents to stay off ice during spring thaw

After several calls in the last week, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is reminding citizens to stay off the ice.

EFRS has responded to six calls for either children playing on the ice, or people who have gone onto the ice in an attempt to rescue animals.

“That is six calls too many, six preventable calls,” Bruce McWhinnie, chief of special operations with EFRS said. “At this time of year, with the ice shelves shifting and moving currents, the river is not safe.”

Read more: Potholes, alley ruts, flooding: Navigating spring driving hazards in Edmonton

McWhinnie also encouraged dog owners to stay away from river banks and to keep their pets on a leash near the river.

“It’s simple, if you love your pets, leash them,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

The majority of animal water rescues EFRS performs happen near off-leash parks, with the majority happening near the Terwillegar Dog Park, Hermitage Dog Park and Hawrelak Park.

As schools are currently closed for spring break, the EFRS encouraged parents to discuss with their children the dangers of the river and other ice surfaces.

Click to play video: 'Man presumed dead after being swept away during dog rescue on North Saskatchewan River' Man presumed dead after being swept away during dog rescue on North Saskatchewan River

Man presumed dead after being swept away during dog rescue on North Saskatchewan River – Apr 6, 2021

One of the calls EFRS received last week was from a bystander who saw kids on the ice near open water. One girl fell through, but was able to self-rescue, officials said.

Story continues below advertisement

“We also had a call for a group of kids on the ice at Terra Losa lake,” Kathy Logozar with EFRS said. “Stormwater ponds are dangerous because of unpredictable depths, the currents, and the inconsistency of the ice surface.”

Read more: Man dies after being swept away during dog rescue on North Saskatchewan River

Anyone who sees a person or pet fall through the ice is encouraged to call 911, stay on the shore, establish and maintain a point of reference where the person or pet was last seen and to never attempt to rescue a person or pet that has fallen through ice.

Last April, a 55-year-old man died after he was swept away in the North Saskatchewan River while attempting to rescue a dog

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source