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Rescue worker offers ice safety tips

By KCFW Staff
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:50:46 PM MST
Updated On: Dec 04 2013 08:56:11 PM MST
KALISPELL, Mont. -

With winter comes fun activities out on the ice. Making sure you are prepared before going out on the ice is important. Having a plan ahead of time necessary.

Search and rescue coordinator Brian Heino gave us some key safety tips for what to do if the ice floor of a pond or lake breaks beneath you.

"If you do get into that situation, some of the best things to do is stay calm, is to turn around to that place that you went through and try to get back that way, which is going to be where your thickest ice is going to be because you ended up just walking on it, having some means of trying to dig in that ice," said Heino.

Heino also said that it's not uncommon for animals to fall through the ice during the winter months. As a first reaction, pet owners want to immediately jump in and save their animals, but that's not the safest thing to do. Heino let us in on some key tips for how to go about helping your animal in case of an emergency.

"If your pet does go in there, don't go out there. Call for those emergency responders, so once again we don't have more people entering onto that ice and having another incident occurring on the ice at the same time," said Heino.

Heino strongly suggests keeping your animals on a leash. That way, if they fall through the shallow ice, you're able to use the leash as leverage to pull them out.