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First responders warn of the dangers of ice ponds

First responders want Northwest Missourians to think twice before venturing out onto icy ponds.

Posted: Mar 2, 2019 5:05 PM
Updated: Mar 4, 2019 11:56 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) First responders want people to think twice before venturing out onto icy ponds, they say there are several reasons why venturing out on these ponds is a bad idea.

"The ice needs to be extremely thick to support an individual," Wallace Patrick, director Buchanan County EMS said. 

"There’s no way to really tell how safe the ice is," Captain Mike Wacker, St. Joseph Fire Department said. 

The month of March generally means warmer temperatures that could pose a serious danger to people who decide to walk out on ice ponds.

SJFD said they train for situations like this, with the use of neoprene style body suites in frigid waters.

Without proper protection from the dangerous cold, Patrick says it’s only a matter of time before serious damage is done to the body.

"Hypothermia sets on fairly rapidly," Patrick said. "You don’t have that much time to get out."

First responders add that just because its cold outside doesn’t necessarily mean that ice is safe to walk on.

"[A variety of factors can] really deteriorate ice rapidly," Wacker said. 

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Temperatures will start to warm back up on Saturday with highs reaching back into the 50's. Another big warm up is headed our way as we go into Sunday and the first part of next week.
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