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Cook County Sheriff shares early ice safety tips

Dec 08, 2020 02:50PM ● By Editor
By Pat Eliasen from the Cook County Sheriff's Office and Public Safety Facebook Page - December 8, 2020

Good Day Cook County!!!
This has not been a typical start to winter up here and the conditions have magically collided to create some spectacular ice skating opportunities. It is really wonderful that people are getting outside and enjoying this activity, especially when mandates have been put in place for people to keep distanced. That being said, I want to urge everyone to take certain safety precautions so that the memories produced from outdoor activities will be positive and enjoyable. Here are a few suggestions to consider for venturing out on early ice:

1. Never go alone
2. Wear a PFD
3. Wear ice picks
4. Look at a contour map of the lake - know the lake depth for all areas that you are considering.
5. Create an ice safety plan - Have a spare set of warm dry clothes in a waterproof bag handy. That way you can reduce the risk of hypothermia by changing the wet clothes immediately. Other useful supplies to have as part of an emergency kit include an emergency blanket, hand and foot warmers, thick socks, spare beanie, candles, and matches.
6. Have a good idea of ice thickness - if you are unsure, ask at local bait shops, resorts, or other businesses.

These are only a few suggestions, and there are many more that you can google if you wish. We want to ensure that everyone enjoys their time outdoors and can have the best possible experience that our county can provide. If you do experience, or witness an emergency, and are able to call, dial 911 immediately. In water temperatures of 32.5-40 degrees, hypothermia can render you incapable of helping yourself in just minutes. Have a great winter everyone and we wish all of you the very best.

Sheriff Pat Eliasen
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