Firefighters caution about thin ice

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Updated: 12/08/2013 10:25 pm Published: 12/08/2013 10:21 pm

A child died on Saturday after falling though the ice on a frozen creek.

It's a story we first brought you as breaking news on FOX23 News Saturday.

It happened near 71st and Utica. The freezing temperatures forced fire crews to struggle during the rescue.

FOX23 spoke to fire crews today about what you should do if you find yourself near freezing water during this cold snap.

While fire station #4 in Tulsa has the equipment to save someone from the water, firefighters hope they never have to use it.

Being safe around water is always a good idea, and in the winter, being safe on water with ice over it can be lifesaving.

"Don't even go near it, stay away, you don't know how thick the ice is, you don't know how long it's been frozen," said Firefighter Capt. Jerry Benefield.

"Even if something looks frozen enough to walk on, it's not worth the risk of falling in. You don't get much warning when the ice breaks, sometime you'll hear a crack but that's about it," Benefield said.

He also told FOX23 that if you fall into the water, there is something very important you need to do.
"The first thing you want to do is get inside and get those clothes off," Benefield said.

If you aren't the person who fell into the water then there are some steps you can take.

"First thing call 911, second thing: don't panic, third thing is do not get in the water."

"Nine times out of 10 when you try to become the rescuer, you become the victim," Benefield said.

The station has only had to pull out its water rescue gear once this winter.

However, because the weather is getting so cold and things are starting to freeze, firefighters caution people to be extra careful.

This accident is another good reminder to always be aware of your surroundings and if you are near any frozen bodies of water, stay as far from the edges as possible.

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