EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – This warm water is nice for some but it’s a drag for winter. Sports enthusiasts that take to frozen ponds and lakes for fun.
Local fire departments are reminding people to stay off the ice amid these unseasonal temperatures. One department coordinating with the city to make sure they are prepared if anyone acts unwisely.
The Easthampton Fire Department getting the message out. Warmer-than usual temperatures mean ice is thin In some spots of Nashawannuk Pond some wouldn’t dare. Other parts look deceptively solid and other people willing to push their luck.
“There is water melting on top of the ice and they’re still out there Ice fishing. I see it every year. In fact sometimes, I live on the other side of the pond, I try to not look out here because I don’t want to see if somebody goes in,” said Christopher Norris Easthampton Fire Chief.
The City of Easthampton doing everything they can to prevent a tragedy out on the ice. First the warning sign letting people know it is thin this time of year. Next more life preservers to be installed around the pond, meant to be thrown from the safety of the shore to someone who may have fallen through.
“Certainly, one of our concerns is we don’t want additional peopple going out on the ice to create a rescue. So, these buoys provide that gap between the response of first responders and providing the public the ability to do something,” said Norris.
Remember reach, throw and go. Try to reach them from the shore. If you can’t, throw something they can grab. if that doesn’t work go get help.
Norris added that they have not had any people go through the ice on Nashawannuck in some time, but they have had calls for domestic pets. If your pet does go through same protocol call 911 and reach, throw and go.
The Easthampton Fire Department offers these tips on ice safety:
- Never go onto the ice alone. A friend may be able to rescue you from shore or go for help if you fall through the ice.
- Go out onto the ice prepared. Make sure to have a cell phone with you in case of emergency, as well as rope or ice picks to help you or someone you’re with should someone fall in.
- Always keep your pets on a leash. If a pet falls through the ice do not attempt a rescue. Call 911 instead.
- New ice is usually stronger than old ice. As the ice ages, the bond between the crystals decays, making it weaker, even if melting has not occurred.
- Beware of ice covered with snow. Snow can insulate ice and keep it strong, but can also insulate it to keep it from freezing.
- Slush indicates that ice is no longer freezing from the bottom and can be weak or deteriorating.
- Ice formed over flowing water (rivers or lakes containing a large number of springs) is generally more dangerous and should be avoided.
- Ice seldom freezes or thaws at a uniform rate. It can be one foot thick in one spot and be only one inch thick 10 feet away.
What to do if someone falls through ice:
- Reach-Throw-Go: If someone falls through the ice, call 911. If you are unable to reach that person from shore, throw them something (rope, jumper cables, tree branch, etc.). If this does not work, go for help, but do not attempt to go out onto the ice to rescue them.
- Get medical assistance for the victim immediately.
- If you fall in, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface, working forward by kicking your feet. Once out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand) and roll away from the hole. Crawl back to your tracks, keeping your weight distributed until you return to solid ice. Once safe, find shelter and change out of your wet clothes. Seek medical assistance immediately.