Fire Departments urge people to stay off the ice

CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) - With the freezing temperatures, bodies of water are starting to freeze over. Local first responders warn everyone to not walk on icy ponds and rivers.

Chief Ron Rains of Carterville Fire Department said the iced ponds and lakes are not safe.

"It's a dangerous, it's a dangerous thing," Rains said. "You'll see a glaze of ice over them right now in the necks and back out at the main water. But right now it's not frozen enough for them to be on, especially children."

According to the chief, more children are at risk than adults.

A few years ago, in Carterville, Illinois one child died due to playing on the ice. This incident encouraged Carbondale Fire Department to get ice equipment.

"Our stance is kind of just to stay off the ice because there could be a spring or current underneath the ice that could be four inches thick in one area and one inch thick on the next step, and you could go right through it," Terril Kaufmann, Assistant Fire Chief of the Carbondale Fire Department.

In southern Ill. there's Crab Orchard, Southern Illinois University campus lake, even the city lakes or even ponds scattered around - when the water freezes, no ice is 100 percent safe.

"We just got sometimes mischievous kids that want to get out and they think it's frozen and they take a couple of steps and they think oh well okay and then third and fourth steps they take they go in the water," Rains said. "We need to make sure that we are reminding our children that the water is not frozen and that it has not been cold enough for a long enough period of time to be on it."

Even if you are out on a boat, first responders want you to be extra careful.

Last week, Carterville firefighters rescued some college students whose boat capsized.

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