As this long winter continues, the Madison Fire Department wants to remind everyone to continue to stay safe. Make sure that you have operating smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Keep an emergency kit in your car with blankets, water, and a charged cell phone battery. We have had a considerable amount of snow stay on the ground, so make sure the fire hydrants are shoveled and accessible for firefighters should they need to use them. We have all adjusted to the cold temperatures (not really!) however, staying bundled up while outside is still critical to prevent cold-weather injuries such as hypothermia and frostbite. Lastly, make sure your neighbors are well-taken care of. The elderly and other populations in need of assistance could use your help, ensuring that they, too, have a safe winter season.
As the winter starts to wind down, remember the dangers associated with the ice on our lakes and ponds. Some conditions to be aware of include: open ice, frazzled-looking ice, dark spots, and strange-colored ice. Always make sure you constantly monitor the depth of ice, and the reaction of the ice as you put your weight on it. We also recommend not going onto the ice by yourself, but if you must, make sure you have a plan with someone that would include your location and when you will be returning. Place your cell phone in a plastic bag, so if you do fall through the ice, you can still call for help. Lightweight ice rescue picks are available that thread though your jacket sleeves--attaching much like a child's mittens. These can be indispensible for pulling yourself out of the water and onto the ice should you fall through.
Before you know it, we will be enjoying the spring with a few laps at the Farmer's Market! The Polar Vortex will be a distant memory, and the Madison Mallards will be back on the field! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Fire Department at 266-4420.