Since it's always cold in Edmonton, you're probably not surprised to hear that the river still has ice on it. As such, locals might have the urge to venture out to the river and attempt a walk on its frozen surface. However, the city of Edmonton is warning residents to stay off the North Saskatchewan River. People have been falling through the ice and the firefighters in charge of the Edmonton river rescue efforts are begging locals to be safe.  

The city's public service announcement said that nine rescue calls from the river have been made to first responders since April 1. If you think that's a lot in just one month, three of the rescues took place on the same day. 

So it's clearly an issue and the city felt they needed to warn residents before that number got any higher.

The Acting Fire Chief said, "Snow and ice on the North Saskatchewan River are never safe to walk on."

He added that "swift-moving ice" poses a high level of risk. So if anyone were to get caught up in a current and find themselves under an "ice shelf," there isn't much Edmonton Fire could at that point to get to them. 

Therefore, it's certainly in our best interest to stay far away from the river banks and practice social distancing where it's safe for us to do so. 

The city went on to explain the number of things that can occur if you fall through the ice or get trapped under an ice shelf. 

On top of being trapped, you face the risk of suffering from hypothermia. "Typically, this means an individual has between two to three minutes before they lose the use of their arms and legs, preventing chances of a self-rescue," they said. 

And the weather certainly plays a role. Seeing how Alberta's weather is notoriously cold, a lot of locals might venture out into the river thinking that it's safe. 

But as we know, April is a total mixed bag for the province. Some parts of the province received a considerable amount of snowfall over the past week, so you might be fooled into thinking that the ice on the river is stable enough to hold you. 

However, the city said otherwise. "No matter how thick you think the ice is, there can be weak areas," the public announcement reads. 

We've already seen Albertans going surfing on frozen rivers this month, so fair to say that some Albertans have no fear what it comes to winter conditions. 

But the city needs you to know that walking on rivers is a big no-no, as it poses a threat to even the firefighters and rescue team that have to come down to help you. 

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