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Edmonton firefighters suit up for ice rescue training, warn of dangerously thin ice

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Margeaux Morin
Reporter

Saturday, March 15, 2014, 3:23 PM -

The ice on bodies of water in Alberta is growing increasingly thin as temperatures rise and Margeaux Morin had a chance to watch Edmonton Fire Rescue perform on ice training on the North Saskatchewan River. 

"The guys are actually going into the water and pulling each other out using as safe as a method as we can," explained District Chief Edmonton Fire Rescue Randy Shakura. "This is probably the most dangerous training that we do, extremely dangerous for citizens to be walking out there right now." 


RELATED: Rising temperatures becoming a safety concern in Edmonton


Training like this allows Edmonton Fire Rescue to respond as quickly and safely as possible. 

"There's a couple of things where people can be a really big help for us," said Shakura. "The first would be just staying there at the scene and talking to them from a safe place. That does two things, it helps to calm the patient. But more importantly, it gives us a visual of where that person is. So that if for some reason they break away from the ice, or they get drawn under, we have somebody that can tell us exactly where they went down." 

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services and City of Edmonton Drainage Services issued a ice safety warning on Thursday, urging residents to use extreme caution around ice. 


SEE ALSO: Extensive ice coverage on the Great Lakes could result in a shorter swim season


"Ice surfaces may appear thicker than they really are and therefore it is never safe to go on the ice of the North Saskatchewan River [during this time]," wrote the Edmonton Fire Rescue Services on a public service announcement.

People were also asked to obey the posted signs at storm water lakes, ponds and creeks. 

If you see someone fall through the ice, call 911 immediately. Skating and usage condition updates are available at edmonton.ca/outdoorskate or by calling 311.

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