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Further safety advice as winter weather takes hold


Date: 1st March, 2018

As Storm Emma and the ‘beast from the East’ take hold across the region, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people not to risk walking on ice.

Whenever local waterways, ponds etc freeze over, the fire and rescue service nationally always sees a spike in calls to help people who have fallen through ice, often when trying to rescue dogs.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Jim Mahoney said: “From the bank, ice can look firm enough to take your weight, and it can even feel safe when you first venture out, but it takes just a second for the ice to crack and suddenly you’re submerged in freezing cold water. People have died after going out on frozen lakes, and we don’t want that to happen in Dorset or Wiltshire.”

He added: “Even the weight of a dog can be enough to break the ice, so always keep your pets on a lead, don’t let them roam on ice-covered water and be careful not to throw sticks or balls near ice.”

If you do experience a dog or person falling through the ice, call 999 immediately and ask for the Fire & Rescue Service – firefighters have the necessary equipment and training to make a safe rescue. Do NOT attempt any rescue of your own, as you will be putting yourself in danger.

If you see someone fall through ice:

The adverse weather is also affecting driving conditions, and ACFO Mahoney said: “There are basic safe driving principles which apply in all adverse conditions, but especially when there is ice or snow. We would urge people to follow the forecasts and abide by any travel advice that is issued – while the snow continues to fall, you should only attempt to travel if it is absolutely vital.”

The following advice is worth bearing in mind:

A full range of advice for staying safe at home and on the roads, including links to other useful websites, can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/get-ready-winter

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