Don't catch yourself on thin ice

The Quincy Fire Department says ice that is less than two inches thick is unsafe.

A lake may look like it's frozen over but looks can be deceiving.

"Even though the ice looks thick it can still be weak," Quincy Fire Department firefighter, Jerry Maste said. "Just because in one area it might be four inches thick doesn't mean that it's that in another area. This time of the year there's a lot of ice out there. Some of it's thawed out and refroze and every time it does that it gets weaker."

That's why the Quincy Fire Department says to stay off any ice that hasn't been okayed by professionals.

If you do go out on the ice, QFD officials say to always wear a life jacket in case you do fall through. If that does happen, they say to stay calm. Their response time to a call is 3 minutes.

"If there is a problem we don't want anyone else to go out and try to save the person that fell in because there can be two victims instead of the original one victim," Quincy Fire Department Public Education Team firefighter, Jerry Smith said.

When QFD arrives on scene, responders follow an ice rescue procedure.

"What we go by is the reach, throw and go method," Smith said. "To reach first we can use things like the pipe pole with the hook on it. If we can get them to grab the pole or snag their clothing we can possibly pull them out. We also have a Frisbee we can throw out to them, they can try to grab onto the rope and we can try to pull them out that way."

The last resort is the go method when a rescuer goes out to the victim in a cold water suit to physically pull he or she out.

Ice rescue victims face hypothermia and frostbite. The Quincy Fire Department says the best way to avoid that is to not be a victim at all.

"If you don't know about the ice, if you're not ice savvy stay off the ice period," Smith said.

The Quincy Fire Department says ice that is less than two inches thick is unsafe.

KHQA's Kristen Aguirre was involved in a mock ice rescue. Here's the video clip:

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