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Danger — thin ice: Winnipeg emergency crews issue warning

Click to play video: '‘Danger: Thin Ice’: Winnipeg fire paramedics urge caution around city waterways' ‘Danger: Thin Ice’: Winnipeg fire paramedics urge caution around city waterways
WATCH: Winnipeg first responders want people to see local frozen waterways as 'no go' zones – Mar 25, 2019

With an abundance of rivers and bodies of water around the city, Winnipeg’s first responders are asking people to stay off the ice.

The safety warning goes beyond the obvious Assiniboine and Red Rivers, extending to streams, creeks, retention ponds and drainage ditches.

While the winter seemed long and ice was indeed thick, the spring thaw means frozen waterways pose a threat, especially to children.

READ MORE: Winnipeg river rescue crews save cat from ice flow, call for caution

“Sadly, we see far too many calls each year for water and ice rescues,” said Fred de Groot, WFPS public education officer.

“As we move into spring, no one should be going on any ice surface. Doing so puts yourself and our responders at risk.”

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“The ice thickness is unpredictable on all waterways and ponds so we encourage all citizens to steer clear of these surfaces, as well as the banks surrounding them.”

READ MORE: RCMP searching, snowmobilers may have fallen through ice on Winnipeg River

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service says they responded to more than 150 water and ice rescue calls last year.

Winnipeg police say incidents involving people falling through ice are preventable and put both the public and emergency crews at risk needlessly.

“The WPS considers all frozen bodies of water within the city of Winnipeg to be unsafe for recreational use with the exception of areas that are monitored in accordance with the City’s Frozen Waterways By-Law,” said Patrol Sgt. Stephane Boulet.

READ MORE: Hang up your skates: Red River Mutual Trail closed for the season

While the WPS River Patrol Unit has placed warning signs near areas of specific concern, they suggest all ice should be seen as unsafe.

Officials also remind people to leave ice rescues to first responders, saying anyone who sees a person or an animal in distress should call 911 instead of taking matters into their own hands.

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WATCH: Danger – thin ice: Winnipeg authorities urge residents to stay safe

Click to play video: 'Danger – thin ice: Winnipeg authorities urge residents to stay safe' Danger – thin ice: Winnipeg authorities urge residents to stay safe
Danger – thin ice: Winnipeg authorities urge residents to stay safe – Mar 22, 2019

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