Fire department warns against walking on frozen ponds

GERONIMO, OK (KSWO) - Cold temperatures across Texoma are causing ponds and lake to freeze over, prompting Geronimo Volunteer Fire Department to warn residents not to walk on what they think are frozen bodies of water.

Geronimo's Fire Chief, Norman Leveille said temperatures don't get this cold too often, making it more enticing for kids to walk on a pond or lake because it's a novelty to them. He said they've had to tell kids to get off icy ponds several times within the past week.

"It is very dangerous for these kids to go out on that ice due to the fact that it may not be thick enough to support your weight," Laveielle said.

And the water's icy temperatures create another major concern for those who fall in – hypothermia.

"When they fall through, and hypothermia sets in, they're going to lose control of their muscles, they're going to lose coordination, and it's going to hamper their ability to get out of that," he said.

The fire department has flotation devices and a boat to get someone out as quickly as possible – but though they have supplies to get someone out of the water, Laveielle said it's also hard on the firefighters making a rescue. He advises for everyone to just stay off the ice.

"Just don't do it... it's not worth it," he said. "It's kinda like when an area floods, you tell them to town around, don't drive through it. I know there's an attraction to it but it's just better not to get out on the ice and stay off because it could mean life or death for kids or whomever."

For anyone who finds themselves an icy pond that's beginning to crack, Leveille suggested lying down to better distribute their weight across the ice.

He said that anyone who sees someone fall through the ice should call 9-1-1 immediately and extend a branch if they're close. He also warned against going onto the ice after them because that can also put the person on land in danger too.

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