BARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) -- If come across a pond or lake and it appears to be completely frozen over on top, you might wanna think twice before deciding to step out on it.
The Barren County Rescue Squad helps cover a lot of ground in the South Central Kentucky area. 13 News Reporter, Kelly Dean, spoke with them today about pond and ice safety.
"It looks a little more frozen but you can see, it's lighter as it goes out," said Training Officer, Kevin Poynter with the Barren County Rescue Squad., pointing to a picture of a lake. "You can see water here, so how frozen is this? It might be an inch, it might be just a crust over the top, it might be two or three inches. You don't ever know."
Poynter talked about safety tips and precautions around the ice this time of year.
"Hypothermia sets in fairly quickly, especially with the temperatures that we've been having here lately."
He said no matter how cold it has been, ponds and lakes are still unsafe to walk out on. It's simply not worth the possible outcome of the ice breaking.
"You hit that water, it's like a bunch of needles sticking in you."
Regardless, the rescue squad is qualified and ready to be at your beckon call if needed. They are made up of 18 members, and 14 of them certified divers.
"We've got 6 set ups that are ready at all times. If we should have a drowning," said Poynter.
On Friday, the crew met for an initial training course at Barren River Lake, specifically regarding water rescues.
"I can tell you a little about ice rescues, diving incidences, swift water incidences, that's something that I train in," explained Poynter.
Next week, they'll test out their gear during actual deep water dives.
"We're not there to lose lives, we're there to save lives as much as possible."
Bottom line is, no matter how cold it's been all this week, it's still not going to be safe to try to walk or skate on any of the ponds nearby.
The rescue squad said if you do go out near a body of water, never go alone, make sure to have communication abilities and always tell someone where you're going beforehand.