There are not many people complaining about the mild January weather Cochrane has been experiencing but it does create precarious ice conditions.  

Fire Inspector, Jeff Avery says, “We are reminding residents to stay off of storm retention ponds as well as the river ice. There really should be no reason to be on them, to begin with. So, if you do see anybody on the ponds or rivers ice, absolutely call 911 and we can go check it out and educate those people of the dangers.”  

With the Cochrane area expected to see the plus side in daytime temperatures this week, Avery says the ice is always different especially in retention ponds because there are so many void spaces in between. The best bet is always staying clear of and off of the ice.  

Despite the warnings, situations may still arise that would take someone out onto the ice such as running after a pet.  Avery says, “The number one rule is if your dog goes out onto the ice call 911 because everybody on the fire department is trained in ice rescue and we do have the boat if we have to take that onto the water as well.”  

If the worst-case scenario occurs and you do fall through the ice, remember these life-saving tips:

  • Don’t panic and control your breathing. If you are unable to call for help on your phone start yelling.  

  • Attempt to get yourself in a horizontal position so that you can place your elbows on the ice and kick with your legs to self-rescue by pulling yourself out. 

  •  If you are successful, roll on the ice.  

  • Do not stand up as the concentration of your weight in one spot could cause you to fall through again. Instead, spread your weight as much as possible by rolling or crawling on the ice.  

  • Once out of the water, warm up slowly as hypothermia can still occur after getting out of the frigid water.