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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Youths Have Lucky Escape from Icy Water

13/02/2012

Two teenage boys had a lucky escape from an icy pond in Stafford after one of them fell through the ice on Saturday night.

"We don’t know what might have happened to them had we not have been in the area, as they were quite far away from any roads and it would have been going dark within the hour."

Stafford Watch Manager, Gary Fox

Stafford firefighters were carrying out routine checks on frozen bodies of water in the area at just after 5pm on Saturday afternoon when they came across two teenagers sat on the bank near to Doxey Marshes.

The boys were both soaking wet so firefighters asked what had happened and the boys told them how they had been standing on the ice when it gave way. One boy had been fully submerged and the other had then gone in waist deep to help him.

The pond was a significant distance from the nearest roads so access for emergency vehicles would have been difficult and neither of the boys were from the immediate area.

Stafford Watch Manager, Gary Fox who came across the youths said: "The boys were both freezing cold and confused, they were just sat on the bank. We immediately called for an ambulance and gave them our fleeces to wear whilst other firefighters ran back to the fire engine to fetch blankets.

"We then walked the boys back to the fire engine, got them out of their wet clothes and gave them oxygen therapy until the ambulance arrived. Both were taken to Stafford General Hospital for further treatment.

"We don’t know what might have happened to them had we not have been in the area, as they were quite far away from any roads and it would have been going dark within the hour."

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued numerous warnings urging people not to walk on ice however has been alerted to a number of incidents across the county by members of the public who have seen children doing just that.

Station Manager, Phil Smith said: "These boys are lucky to be alive and could have both ended up trapped under ice. Young people need to think before they act in such circumstances, as what might seem like a fun idea at the time could prove to be fatal."

If you see someone, or a pet, fall through the ice and get into difficulty, do not risk yourself by trying to rescue them, instead ring 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service immediately.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service launched an ice safety DVD in November last year highlighting the dangers of children playing on ice. The film can be watched on Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s website: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk.

Schools can also request a visit by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to do a presentation about winter safety, which includes the dangers of playing on ice. To book a visit call 08451 22 11 55 and ask to be put through to your local risk reduction team.