Calgary, AB,

Calgary fire crews rescue woman from icy Elbow River in Discovery Ridge

Shortly before 2:00 on Thursday afternoon, 9-1-1 received an emergency call from a woman who had been out for a walk in Discovery Ridge. She had accidentally broken through ice along the Elbow River and was stuck up to her waist in the frigid water, unable to self rescue. Thankfully she had a cell phone with her and was able to call 9-1-1 for help. She was then able to give the dispatcher a description of her approximate location.

Fire crews arrived and searched the area. The woman remained on the phone with 9-1-1 and was then quickly located by firefighters who carefully pulled her out of the water.  She was then transported by a Calgary Fire Department all terrain vehicle to the trailhead for further assessment by waiting EMS personnel.

The Calgary Fire Department would like to remind citizens that with the warming spring temperatures, ice on rivers, community lakes, storm ponds, and other waterways starts to thaw and the ice around and covering these bodies of water can be dangerous. 

  • Stick to designated pathways and always keep a safe distance from riverbanks and lakeshores to avoid accidentally falling through the ice.
  • Don't walk on ice-covered bodies of water, including storm ponds. It's difficult to assess the thickness of the ice and its ability to hold the weight of a person or animal.
  • If a person or an animal falls through ice into water, call 9-1-1. Do not attempt to rescue them yourself. Encourage the person to kick and pull themselves up onto the ice and roll, rather than walk, towards the shore.

What to do if you fall through the ice

  • Stay calm and try to keep your head out of the water and control your breathing.
  • Call for help and keep your hands on the ice shelf.
  • Try to pull yourself up on the ice on your stomach and roll towards the shore, where the ice may be thicker.
  • If you can't get out of the water in less than 10 minutes, stop kicking and trying to pull yourself out, and anchor yourself to the ice shelf. Continue to call for help.

What to do if you witness a person falling through the ice

  • Stay back and call for help; call 9-1-1.
  • If the person does get out the water, onto the ice , reach or throw an aid to the person such as a branch, or rope.