clear
Friday May 22nd, 2015 3:14PM

GFD: Stay off the ice

By Ken Stanford Reporter
LAWRENCEVILLE - The onset of prolonged below-freezing temperatures, which North Georgia is expecting early next week, can cause lakes, ponds, creeks and ditches to freeze over and form a thin sheet of ice across the surface area.

With that in mind, the Gwinnett County Fire Department is advising people to stay off the ice since the ice that forms on bodies of water in the area is usually very thin, extremely unstable and unable to support much weight.

The water seldom freezes uniformly, spokesman Tommy Rutledge says, thus posing an extreme danger to anyone attempting to stand or walk on the ice. Ice may freeze to almost a few inches thick in one location (rarely the case in southern states) and be only a few centimeters thick a foot or two away. It can look inviting, but Capt. Rutledge warns against using the frozen surface as a skating rink or a place to play. Doing so endangers the lives of emergency responders and those who are potentially in need of rescue. "The thickness of ice that forms on bodies of water within the county is not strong enough to hold the weight of an adult, child or even large animals," he said.

Three years ago, two young boys died when they fell through thin ice on a Gwinnett County pond . Authorities at the time that 14-year-old Jacob Bullock and 13-year-old Marvens Mathurin were playing and sliding on the semi-frozen pond when the ice broke. Fire officials said they became trapped under the ice and spent nearly an hour in the frigid water. They were unresponsive and unconscious when rescue workers pulled them from the pond.

If you do fall through a frozen body of water, Capt. Rutledge says remember to stay calm, reach for solid ice, kick to exit the hole, and then roll to safety toward the shore. Never attempt to go out on the ice to rescue another person in distress. Try to reach the victim using a long pole or a throw rope and stay safely on the shore. Be prepared to treat the person for hypothermia or shock and seek medical attention right away.

Rutledge added that if you have an open body of water on your property, keep an eye out for children who may be in the area. Post warnings around the water and provide an access barrier whenever possible.

In dealing with other aspects of the deep freeze expected next week, Rutledge says dress in layers of warm insulated clothing and limit your time outside; monitor weather and road conditions before going out for the day and notify family and friends of your plans; extinguish the fire in the fireplace and turn off space heaters before going to bed or when you leave the house; install and maintain working smoke alarms and a carbon monoxide alarm inside the home; develop a home escape plan and hold fire drills to practice.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
US consumer prices ticking up as Fed weighs first rate hike
WASHINGTON (AP) — Core consumer prices outside of food and energy posted the biggest increase in April in more than a year, suggesting that an improving U.S. economy is finally starting to lift prices...
12:12PM ( 3 hours ago )
Mobile home on Friendship Rd. destroyed by fire
A family of three has been displaced by an early morning fire at their home on Friendship Road in south Hall County.
10:29AM ( 4 hours ago )
Alabama to join 'SEC primary' in 2016 presidential race
Alabama lawmakers have voted to join the ``SEC primary'' as southern states band together to try to get more attention from 2016 presidential hopefuls.
8:01AM ( 7 hours ago )
Boy Scouts' leader says ban on gay adults not sustainable
NEW YORK (AP) — The president of the Boy Scouts of America, Robert Gates, said Thursday that the organization's longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults is no longer sustainable and call...
11:23PM ( 15 hours ago )
Former Hall employee arrested on meth-related charges
Hall County authorities have arrested a now former Hall County Parks Maintenance Supervisor on drug charges.
By AccessWDUN Staff
8:46PM ( 18 hours ago )