Calgary Fire Department issues warning about storm ponds

Despite appearances, stay off storm ponds. That’s the message from the Calgary Fire Department (CFD).

“Calgary Firefighters really like seeing citizens outside enjoying all Calgary has to offer, in terms of outdoor activities, but they really don’t want Calgarians to put themselves and those around them in danger by skating on thin ice,” CFD public information officer Carol Henke said in a statement.

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Part of the city’s stormwater infrastructure, storm ponds dot the city and are marked by caution signs around their perimeter. The signs warn the public that going into or on the ponds is strictly prohibited.

According to the CFD, water levels in the ponds can change throughout the winter, and the thickness of the ice is difficult to assess. The depth of the storm ponds can vary as well.

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Calgarians looking to enjoy outdoor skating can use a city or community rink.

Read more: Father and son rescue woman after falling through Calgary lake ice

If you do fall through ice into water, the CFD advises:

  • Stay calm and try to keep your head out of the water.
  • Control your breathing.
  • Call for help and keep your hands on the ice shelf.
  • Try to pull yourself up on the ice on your stomach and roll towards the shore, where the ice may be thicker.
  • If you can’t get out of the water in less than 10 minutes, stop kicking and trying to pull yourself out. Anchor yourself to the edge of the ice. Continue to call for help.

If you witness someone fall through the ice, CFD advises that you stay back and call 911. If the person gets out of the water and onto the ice or shore, CFD says to throw an aid like a branch or rope to pull the person to safety.

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