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Ice Safety in the Winter

If you see someone fall through the ice call 911 immediately.  Do not try to go out on to the ice to help him or her.  You can help by reaching out to that person with any objects on hand like a shovel, tree branch, hockey stick, rope or seat belt.

You can also throw something that floats that they might be able to hang onto until help arrives like a life jacket, seat cushion or spare tire.


Please keep your pets on a leash when walking near ice-covered water.  Pets are not aware of the hidden danger of falling through the ice.

If your pet does happen to get loose on the ice, coax it back to shore - do not go after it. If your pet does fall through the ice call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to rescue your pet yourself. The fire department will respond with ice rescue equipment and attempt to rescue your pet.

Outdoor Skating

Throughout winter, the Snow/Maintenance Foreman with Parks assesses the ice conditions once a week in the designated skating areas at Henderson Lake, Nicholas Sheran Lake and Chinook Lake.  For more information please click here.

Storm Ponds

Storm pond water/ice contact is prohibited. Ice on storm ponds is not monitored by the City.

It is dangerous to walk, play or skate on any ice surface that has areas of open water. Water entering storm ponds can contain impurities and is warmer in temperature, which can contribute to unstable and unpredictable ice conditions. Water levels in storm ponds can fluctuate, increasing the odds of air pockets.  Please stay off storm ponds at all times.

River Ice

River ice is less predictable than lake ice.  It is affected by fluctuating water levels, under-ice currents, high winds, and bottom conditions that can shift from year to year.  Be aware of variations in ice thickness. The presence of naturally drifting snow on river ice combined with under-ice currents can result in highly variable ice thickness. It is recommended to stay off the Oldman River at all times.



Protect Yourself Around Ice

  • Inform others of your destination and time of return.
  • Check weather conditions. Warm Chinook winds can quickly change ice strength.
  • Wear a PFD and a helmet.
  • Check with your community association to see if neighborhood lake ice has been tested for safety.
  • Dress in layers to protect against hypothermia (decreased body temperature).
  • Keep a cell phone, vehicle keys, and First Aid equipment on shore in a safe location known by all party members.
  • Never go onto ice alone.
  • Never go onto ice at night, as ice conditions are constantly changing.
  • When walking with others, keep a good distance apart on ice.

Self-Rescue in Freezing Water

Your first danger is drowning, not the cold.  But if you do fall through the ice you have time to save yourself.

Here are some tips:

Tread water: Don’t panic and thrash about. Resist the urge to gasp. Instead, slowly tread water or grasp the edge of the ice to keep your head above water.

Kick and pull: Keep your hands and arms on the ice and kick your feet. This brings your body to a horizontal position, parallel to the ice surface.

Horizontal kick and pull: Once you’re horizontal, continue to kick your feet, while pulling with your hands. Draw yourself up onto the ice.

Roll onto the ice:
Keep your weight spread out as you roll, crawl and slide to reach ice that can support your weight.