Don’t be an ice breaker

Stoke-on-Trent has more than its fair share of park lakes, rivers & canals all of which are tempting playgrounds when they freeze over and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have launched a DVD highlighting the dangers of young people playing on ice in preparation for the winter.

The film, entitled ‘Ice Breaker’ has been launched as part of the Winter Safety Campaign.

Schools are being urged to play the short five minute film during assemblies, if freezing temperatures are forecast.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Youth Education Co-ordinator, Steve Wright said

The DVD was created due to a growing number of incidents across the country which involved people going into frozen water and falling through the ice. Though the DVD features young actors it also serves as a safety warning for adults as well. Whilst ice may look thick, it doesn’t take much weight to crack the ice and before you know if, you’ve fallen through.  Iced over water has dangerously low temperatures which would be a real shock to the system and means that people can very quickly get into difficulty. We hope that by watching this DVD people will think twice about going out onto frozen bodies of water, whether they do it for fun or to retrieve a pet or item the message is clear – it could be the last thing you do.

Ice Breaker from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Se on Vimeo.

Police & Fire Services Issue Winter Safety Warnings

Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued safety warnings to remind people of the dangers of playing on frozen ponds & canals.

On Tuesday Police were called to Holden Lake, at Holden Bridge, opposite the Horn and Trumpet after a concerned member of the public had called after spotting four children playing on the small lake.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said ‘We are urging parents to keep a close eye on their children as the cold snap continues to take hold. Make sure you know where your children are. What can appear as harmless fun could lead to something very serious if ice breaks.’

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue spokesman said, ‘Unfortunately we have also seen an increase in incidents on frozen lakes and pools, particularly on days when schools have been closed. Frozen lakes and pools are not playgrounds and we’d urge parents to explain this to their children. At the moment the water in lakes and ponds is of a dangerously low temperature and if people fall through the ice they will quickly get into difficulty because the cold water is a real shock to the system.’

And continued, ‘Newcastle and Tamworth stations both have water rescue units, which include inflatable walkways for use on ice, however this shouldn’t detract from the point that people shouldn’t risk their lives by playing on the ice.’

They went on to give this advice, ‘If you see someone, or a pet, fall through the ice and get into difficulty never try and rescue them yourself instead ring 999 and ask for the Fire Service immediately.’

Staffordshire Police also asked for common sense when coming across children or youths throwing snow balls. ‘Is it really a matter for the police?

BUT don’t confuse damage to property/personal injury with winter fun. Throwing snow balls at passing vehicles or windows is dangerous and could lead to prosecution.’