Walking on ice can be a life or death decision
March 22, 2022

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) urges Edmontonians to stay off the North Saskatchewan River. 

In the last week, EFRS has responded to six calls for either children playing on the river ice or people going onto the ice trying to rescue animals. 
“That is six calls too many, six preventable calls,” said Bruce McWhinnie, Chief of Special Operations, EFRS. “At this time of year, with the ice shelves shifting and moving currents, the river is not safe.” 

With many schools closed for spring break and warmer temperatures heading our way, EFRS urges parents to talk to their children about the dangers of the river.

“Last week, we received a 911 call from a bystander who saw kids on the ice near open water. One girl fell into the water and luckily self-rescued,” said Kathy Logozar, Senior Emergency Communications Captain with EFRS. “We also had a call for a group of kids on the ice at Terra Losa lake. Stormwater ponds are dangerous because of unpredictable depths, the currents, and the inconsistency of the ice surface.”

Edmontonians are also encouraged to stay away from the river banks and to keep their dogs on leash near the river. 

“It’s simple, if you love your pets, leash them,” said Chief McWhinnie.  

The majority of animal water rescues occur near off-leash dog parkswith the top three locations being Terwillegar Dog Park, Hermitage Dog Park and Hawrelak Park. 

Edmontonians who witness a person or pet fall through the ice are urged to:
  • Call 911 immediately
  • Stay on shore
  • Establish and maintain a point of reference where the individual/animal was last seen
  • Never attempt to rescue an individual or pet that has fallen through the ice 
For more information:

Media contact:
Communications Advisor
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services