WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – EMS crews responded to a ‘kids in pond’ call at 29th and Oliver Tuesday afternoon at the Great Plains Nature Center. The call came in around 2:20 p.m.
According to crews at the scene, a 10-year-old and 2-year-old were playing with their mom at that location. When the mom reportedly turned her back, the 10-year-old walked out to the ice that was on a small creek and fell through into waist-deep water. The mom quickly went into the water to grab him and a 2-year-old followed.
Wichita Fire Battalion Chief Chad Winton said at first glance the ice looks thick, but after picking up a piece that wasn’t the case.
“The ice is approximately an inch thick right now, that will hold about 50 pounds, a lot of things play into the factor here we got debris from the trees, that will hold heat so it doesn’t freeze like it normally would if it was just out in the open,” said Battalion Chief Chad Winton. “In Kansas, we never look at ice as being good safe ice because the temperatures fluctuate too much, it’s warm one day cool the next one comes out, a lot of factors play into that, they just need to stay off the ices. It’s not a place to play.”
Aaron Hall is apart of the Rescue team. He said if a person falls through the ice and makes it out, hypothermia can kick in within minutes.
“Once you make it out, your clothes are wet, you know your legs are wet, then stuff is going to freeze and that’s just going to add to the situation of hypothermia,” said Hall.
Kansas Wildlife Parks and Tourism Operations Captain said he worries about the two weeks of predicted low temps.
“If it stays cold like this temperature for several weeks, more people will get the itch to out and go fishing on it,” said Captain Hastings. “The last couple years it really hasn’t been cold enough to do that safely.”
KSN crews said both kids were rescued safely by their mom and were in the ambulance. There were no serious injuries.
All crews said to have parents talk to their kids about ice before they go outside and if a pet goes through the ice, call 911 instead of going after the pet.