OTTAWA -- If the warmer temperatures have you heading outdoors, first responders have some advice for you, don’t go on the ice.

It’s a warm sunny day. A man is walking across the Ottawa River with his dog. Suddenly he slips through the ice, it was too thin to support his weight. This happened Friday, luckily, it was a staged event. Members of the Ottawa fire service, along with police and paramedics wanted to show the public, that you never know how thick the ice can be.

“At one point you could be standing on over four feet of ice, ten twenty feet down the road, you could be in six inches,” says Cst. T.J. Jellinek of the Ottawa Police Marine, trail and dive unit. “So you never really know how thick the ice is all around the area you’re in.”

The shoreline is also a major threat. Trees along the waters edge, can displace ice and create weak spots. “That where the rocks are,” says Dave Harnish, member of the Ottawa Fire Services water rescue. “As the snow melts the rocks heat up and that becomes a dangerous spot as well.”

And if you do fall in, here are some tips from first responders, to help save your life.

First, don’t panic. Jellinek explains when you hit the icy water, your body will seize up, especially your lungs. After about 30 seconds, you will relax.

At this point, you only have a few minutes.

Second, get low, kick hard. Get your body low and kick as hard as you can, from the waist up, slide onto the ice and roll away from the hole.

Third, get warm. You need to start a fire or find shelter right away and heat up.

If you come across someone in distress, call 9-1-1, and keep your eyes on the victim. Don not try to rescue them yourself.

For snowmobilers and ice fisherman hoping to squeeze in one last winter adventure, Jellinek says know your surroundings and travel prepared. “A PFD is always a great thing to have. Flotation is going to be your biggest factor to keep you above ice.”

If you can’t seem to get that spring out of your step, and you have to get outdoors, Harnish has the best advice. “Stay off the ice. No ice is good ice.”