Neighborhood ponds and area waterways are iced over and the Plainfield Fire Protection District is asking everyone to follow ice safety guidelines and only go on ice in approved areas where the ice has been checked by someone trained to judge ice conditions.  Extreme cold snaps actually weaken ice because it becomes brittle so there is no such thing as 100% safe ice.  Many factors determine the strength of ice including its age, thickness, the temperature, snow cover, water depth, the size of the body of water, water currents and water chemistry.  Ice that is over a moving body of water such as a river should always be considered weak and unsafe.   If someone does fall through ice the best way to help them is to immediately call 9-1-1 so rescue personnel can be on their way.  Do not go out on the ice after them, if the ice did not support them, it won’t support you either.  If possible, while waiting for rescue personnel to arrive, throw things towards the person to help them stay afloat such as a life jacket or empty water jug.  You could also throw them a rope or similar device to attempt to pull them to shore.  Tell them that help is on the way and if they do get out of the water take measures to keep them warm while waiting for rescue personnel to arrive.   Plainfield Fire Protection District Firefighter/Paramedics recently practiced their ice rescue skills.  This training emphasizes how rescuers should distribute their weight on the ice, rescue techniques and self rescue.  Pictured are Firefighter/Paramedic’s Jim Neuman and Drew Urbancic during training.  For more information please call the Plainfield Fire Protection District at (815) 436-5335 ext. 7314