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Pewaukee Fire Department to ice fishermen: 'Stay off the ice'

Posted at 5:45 PM, Feb 27, 2018

The recent warm-up is thawing local lakes, making it unsafe for anyone to go out on the ice.

On Pewaukee Lake, ice along the shoreline is melting away. Division Chief Andrew Norris with the Pewaukee Fire Department estimates the ice toward the center of the lake could be around six inches thick. Not nearly enough to handle the weight of a vehicle.

“Just looking at the ice in and of itself, stay off the ice. I know that people want to get out there, they want to enjoy the warm weather on the ice. It’s just not safe,” said Norris.

But if there’s ever an emergency on the lake, the Pewaukee Fire Department is ready. Every firefighter is trained in ice rescues. Plus, the department has a hovercraft to assist in rescues. 

So far this year, the department has conducted at least a dozen training sessions, both in the classroom and out on the frozen lake. It’s important, according to Norris, since the ice can be so deceiving.

“It seems to be good and as they go farther and farther out it’s just an unknown what the ice is going to be like," he said. 

The Pewaukee Fire Department hasn’t had any ice rescues so far this winter and wants to keep it that way.