Louisville residents warned to stay off frozen lakes and ponds

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- When the temperatures drop as low as they've been, many ponds freeze, creating what some see as a fun opportunity.

Emergency officials warn that heading out on the ice is a very bad idea.

Days of subfreezing temperatures have created a frozen covering on lakes and ponds, but don't be fooled.

"You don't know how thick that ice is," said Louisville Fire and Rescue spokesperson Sal Melendez. "It may be just a thin layer of ice -- just enough to serve as a trap to put you in a bad situation."

Melendez says just because we're in a deep freeze doesn't mean bodies of water are ready for humans. In fact, he says Louisville firefighters got a rude awakening themselves during ice rescue training like what emergency crews went through at the Standard Country Club on Wednesday.

"They were able to stand on it for a little bit, but next thing you know, once they walked in 10 or 15 feet from the edge, the ice broke and they fell through," Melendez said.

Melendez says residents also need to think about their pets. Make sure you keep them on a leash, if there's a lake or pond near where you're planning to take them for a walk.

"Your pet may run away -- run off to that icy area -- and you of course are going to want to rescue that pet -- that's your pet -- and put yourself in harm's way by doing that," he said. 

Melendez also says you need to not only think about the danger you may be exposing yourself to, but also the emergency personnel who may have to come save you.

"This is what we signed up for and that's part of the job that we understand is going to come with it," he said. "But, the risk is there nonetheless."

The staff of Louisville Parks and Recreation has been told to be on the lookout for people who might try to go out on ponds and lakes.

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