Ice/Water Hazards

Yakima Fire Department


With the recent low temperatures, local ponds, lakes, and rivers have developed a covering of ice and that has presented a dangerous temptation to outdoor recreationists. The Yakima Fire Department would like to caution everyone that:


Victims that fall through the ice can quickly succumb to the freezing temperatures and drown before emergency help can arrive. A person partially submerged in 32.5 degreee F water has less than 10 minutes before they lose muscular control, and soon after that they will lose consciousness. Even if removed, they can suffer life threatening cardiac arrhythmias caused by the severe cooling of the blood in their system.

Often, a Good Samaritan loses their life attempting to help. Remember – if it didn’t support their weight, IT WON’T SUPPORT YOURS! The best course of action is to get emergency help on the way immediately. If you do recover someone who has fallen in freezing water, keep them still and summon help. Do not rub or stimulate them. Instead, have them sit or lie down until help arrives and cover them to retain warmth.

The Yakima Fire Department takes pride in providing the finest, most aggressive life safety and fire protection service to the citizens of Yakima. We ask that you partner with us in ringing in the New Year with safe outdoor activities.