Stay Away from Waterways in Winter

Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) and I would like to remind residents to exert caution near waterways this winter. Videos of pet and wildlife rescues are very popular on social media however, OFS strongly encourages animal lovers to call 911 rather than put themselves in harms way. Venturing on ice that is unsafe can lead to very dangerous consequences for the rescuer. OFS also advocates for prevention by reminding pet owners to keep their pets on a leash when walking near waterways.

From time to time firefighters assist when pets or wildlife are in distress to ensure their owners remain safe and uninjured – be it a cat in a tree, trapped wildlife or a dog on the ice. Although these incidents are often not life threatening, they can become dangerous if persons put themselves in harm’s way and don’t consider all the consequences possible.

Ottawa Fire Services has the tools and equipment to respond safely. Therefore, if ever you are involved in a similar situation please contact OFS by calling 613-580-2860.


Please note that calls of this nature are a reduced priority. Firefighters responding to these calls travel without emergency lights or sirens and are reassigned promptly if another higher priority call occurs in the area. Please remember to exercise caution and take the necessary steps to try and avoid finding yourself in one of these situations. Thank you.