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updated: 3/18/2014 5:17 PM

Stay off the ice:

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Daily Herald report

The Countryside Fire Protection District is urging the public to stay off the ice as its strength can't be judged by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature or whether it is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice and local climatic conditions. The district warns of a false sense of security. If someone falls through ice, call 911. Resist the urge to run up to the edge of the hole and do not try to save a pet or other animal. Shout to the victim to encourage them to hold on to the edge, stay calm and reassure them help is on the way. If you can safely reach the victim from shore, extend an object such as a long branch, ladder or jumper cables to the victim. Toss one end of a rope or extension cord with a loop to the victim. Visit

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