Goochland County Department of Fire-Rescue & Emergency Services urges everyone (and their pets) to stay off the frozen ponds and lakes. The ice isn’t thick enough to support the weight of a person.
Rarely does it get cold enough, for a long enough period of time in this area for the ice to become strong enough to support the weight of a person. Parents, please remind your children to stay off the frozen water! Dog owners must be careful around frozen water and should not throw sticks or balls onto the ice.
Should a dog go onto the ice and get into difficulty, don't attempt to carry out a rescue. If a pet or person gets in trouble on the ice on a frozen pond or lake, call 911 immediately!
Safety advice - what do you do if you see someone fall through the ice:
Never venture onto frozen ponds and lakes, no matter how safe it looks!
If you see someone fall through the ice:
- Shout for help and send someone to DIAL 911
- Stay off the ice
- Shout to the victim to keep still
- Try and reach them from the bank using a rope, pole, a tree branch, clothing tied together or anything else that extends your reach
- When reaching for the bank, lie down to avoid being pulled onto the ice
- If you cannot reach them, slide something that floats like a rescue buoy across the ice for them to hold on to stay afloat
- If the victim is out of reach, wait for the 911 units, while calming and reassuring them
After the victim has been rescued from the ice:
- Make sure the 911 is on its way
- Lay them flat, check their breathing and pulse and begin resuscitation if necessary
- Prevent them from getting colder by putting them in a sleeping bag or covering them including their head, with blankets or spare clothing
- Get them under shelter out of the cold
- Until the victim is in a warm place do not undress them
- Do not rub their skin, apply hot water or give an alcoholic drink
- Keep them wrapped up so that they warm up gradually
If you fall through the ice:
- Keep calm and call for help
- If no help is available spread your arms across the surface of the ice
- If the ice is strong enough kick your legs and slide onto the ice
- Lie flat and pull yourself to the bank
- If the ice is very thin, break it in front of you and make your way to the shore
- If you cannot climb out, wait for help keeping as still as possible
- Press your arms by your side and keep your legs together
- Once you are safe, call 911 and go to the Emergency Department to be evaluated