Firefighters advise against walking on ice

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The Wichita Fire Department conducted ice water rescue drills on the OJ Watson Park lake today.

"Just stay off the ice. It's just that simple. There's no such thing as safe ice in Kansas," said Capt. Scot Kleinschmidt, Wichita Fire Dept.

About two dozen firefighters are specially trained to walk on ice with special equipment and gear.

"We're dealing with cold water, cold air. It's really, really taxing on the guys when they have to go out and have to perform these types of rescues. It uses a lot of resources to successfully pull these things off," said Kleinschmidt.

Although some bodies of water are frozen, it is not advised to walk on icy lakes, ponds, and rivers in Kansas. 

"The problem with the ice in Kansas is our weather fluctuates, the temperatures," said Kleinschmidt. "The weather is constantly going above freezing, back below freezing. So what happens is it never really forms super thick, consistent ice, like you would see in your northern states, where people see them ice skating and ice fishing. We don't have that kind of ice here in Kansas."

If any person or pet falls through ice, it is best to call 911 for rescue efforts.

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