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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Footprints Seen on Iced Over Pool

03/12/2010

As temperatures continue to dip, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are again warning the people of Lichfield of the dangers of frozen lakes and ponds. The reminder comes after human footprints were found on Stowe Pool in Lichfield.

"At the moment the water in lakes and ponds is of a dangerously low temperature and if people or pets fall through the ice they will quickly get into difficulty because the cold water is a real shock to the system."

Ian Sloss, Head of Risk Reduction for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Two crews from Tamworth and a crew from Lichfield were called to the pool after a ranger had spotted footprints leading out onto the ice which appeared to stop 15 foot onto the frozen pool. The area Rangers have been carrying our regular checks at the pool since the temperatures dropped and they weren’t sure if anyone was in the water at around 2.40pm today when the footprints were spotted.

On arrival, crews investigated and established that there was no one in the water however the footprints prove that there had been people walking on the ice at some point today.

Ian Sloss, Head of Risk Reduction for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We’ve already seen a number of incidents across Staffordshire involving pets on the ice and as the weekend approaches the worry is that children will see frozen lakes as playgrounds.

"At the moment the water in lakes and ponds is of a dangerously low temperature and if people or pets fall through the ice they will quickly get into difficulty because the cold water is a real shock to the system.

"Our Firefighters have equipment to deal with this type of incident and Newcastle and Tamworth both have water rescue units, which include inflatable walkways for use on ice; however this shouldn’t detract from the point that people shouldn’t risk their lives by playing on the ice.

"Also 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."