Ice Safety reminders: Stay off the ice and how to rescue yourself/others

by beth on January 28, 2021

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With polar vortexes headed our way, you might think the reservoirs/ponds in town will get cold enough to do some ice skating. According to Southborough Emergency Management and the Fire Department, think again.

SEMA is reminding the public about “Ice Safety” issues. Lt. Neal Aspesi alerted me about their three part series on Facebook. I’m sharing the information below.

The posts cover – how to know if ice is safe, what to do if you fall through, and what to do if you discover someone else in need of rescue.

Part 1:

** IS THE ICE SAFE? **
• NO, ice on our ponds & reservoirs is NEVER considered 100% safe, no matter how cold the temperatures get.
• Ice thickness is NOT consistent, one spot might be 5” thick but yet only 1” thick a few feet away.
• The only truly safe ice is that on an ice rink
• We discourage anyone from going out on the ice and ask that parents relay this message to your children during the winter months.
** ATTENTION: The attached ice thickness guidelines are for “CLEAR ICE” only – Dark & Cloudy Ice is NEVER EVER safe.

Part 2 – A video describing how to self-rescue if you fall through the ice:

Part 3:

** WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE SOMEONE, A PET OR ANIMAL FALL THROUGH THE ICE? **

• Immediately call 9-1-1
• DO NOT go on the ice to save them – becoming a second victim will not help the situation
• Keep your eyes on their location to guide arriving fire/police responders
• Follow the “Reach, Throw, Row” rescue method
REACH = out (from a safe location) a stick, ladder or anything the victim can gab/hold on to. Try pulling them out or have them hold on until professional help arrives
THROW = a rope or something that floats for the victim to grab/hold on to. Try pulling them out or have them hold on until professional help arrives
ROW = If available, use a boat as a platform to go out and get them. ONLY do this as a last option and always stay in the boat!!

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