Jeffrey D. Nutting, Town Administrator
355 East Central Street
Franklin, MA 02038
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Email: [email protected]
*Joint Press Release* Franklin Fire and Police Rescue Man Stuck on Ice
Departments Urge Residents to Stay Off Ice
FRANKLIN — Fire Chief Gary B. McCarraher and Police Chief Stephan Semerjian report that the fire and police departments rescued a man who fell through an unfrozen patch of ice on a swamp last night. Police and Fire are urging residents to stay off the ice at this time to ensure their safety and to prevent tragedies.
On Jan. 25, at approximately 9 p.m., police and fire were dispatched to a swamp off Beaver Street after a man called 911 reporting that he was stuck on the ice.
Upon their arrival, they found a 72-year-old man trapped on the ice, about 100 yards from the road. He had fallen through the ice and was ankle deep in water, unable to move. Firefighters put on their wetsuits and used ice rescue sleds to reach and extricate the victim from an access point on Beaver Street, across from the town’s recreation fields.
“Given the variations in temperature we’ve seen over the past several weeks, ice in town has not had the chance to freeze sufficiently to safely support the weight of people,” Chief McCarraher said. “We strongly advise residents stay off the ice at this time, until a long period of subfreezing temperatures occur.”
The man was treated by EMTs and reported to be in stable condition. He was then transported to Milford Regional Medical Center for further evaluation.
On-scene assistance was provided by Norfolk and Wrentham fire departments. The State Police Air Wing was also on scene to supply overhead lighting and to assist firefighters with safety. Firefighters from Bellingham covered the Franklin headquarters during the incident. The MBTA Commuter Rail was stopped for a brief period of time.
“Thankfully this man was able to call 911 as soon as he got stuck and was not seriously injured,” Chief Semerjian said. “Thank you to our neighboring police and fire departments, along with the State Police, for their assistance during this incident.”
To prevent accidents and tragedies this season, police and fire ask that residents follow several safety guidelines.
General Ice and Cold Water Safety:
- Never go onto the ice alone. A friend may be able to rescue you or go for help if you fall through the ice.
- Always keep your pets on a leash. If a pet falls through the ice do not put yourself at risk by attempting to rescue it. Instead, call 911 or go for help.
- New ice is usually stronger than old ice. As the ice ages, the bond between the crystals decays, making it weaker, even if melting has not occurred.
- Beware of ice covered with snow. Snow can insulate ice and keep it strong, but can also insulate it to keep it from freezing. Snow can also hide cracks, weak, or open ice.
- Slush is a danger sign, indicating that ice is no longer freezing from the bottom and can be weak or deteriorating.
- Ice formed over flowing water (rivers or lakes containing a large number of springs) is generally 15 percent weaker.
- Ice seldom freezes or thaws at a uniform rate. It can be one foot thick in one spot and be only one inch thick 10 feet away.
What To Do If Someone Falls Through Ice:
- Reach-Throw-Go. If a companion falls through the ice and you are unable to reach that person from shore, throw them something (rope, jumper cables, tree branch, etc.). If this does not work, go for help before you also become a victim. Get medical assistance for the person immediately.
- If you fall in, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface, working forward by kicking your feet. Once out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand) and roll away from the hole. Crawl back to your tracks, keeping your weight distributed until you return to solid ice.