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<a href="http://suitland.wusa9.com/content/rescue-officials-warn-everyone-stay-ice">Rescue Officials Warn Everyone To Stay Off The Ice</a>

BLADENSBURG, Md. (WUSA) -- Prince George's County firefighters and medics are undergoing ice rescue classes all this week.  The classes are conducted every year to prepare for the worst case scenarios.

Firefighter Matthew Rickard says, "This time of year we have to be ready for any emergency that might arise."

Assistant Chief Richard Takacs says the frigid conditions provide a unique opportunity to keep these rescue workers on their toes.

Takacs says, "The suits do a great job of keeping them buoyant and warm, but it is a foreign environment, and we want them to get used to that, get used to hooking into the ropes and used to the rope techniques so that if an emergency should occur they are well prepared."

Even though the need for ice rescues are rare in this area, Takacs reminds everyone to stay away from the ice.

"We've done a pretty effective job at keeping the public off the ice.  The ice around here rarely gets thick enough to be safe to go on."

Written by Thomas James
9News Now & wusa9.com