BAZETTA TWP., Ohio (WKBN) — Cold temperatures are sweeping through the area this week, but the Valley has seen plenty of warmer days this winter. With the mix of warmer and colder temperatures, lakes and large bodies of water aren’t completely freezing.

A cold water rescue suit is no easy feat to put on even with help, our First News reporter can tell you. But firefighters have about 45 seconds in the back of a moving ambulance to get the suit on in a timely manner.

“Hypothermia sets in minutes when you’re talking about the temperature of the water, so that is something that people need to be cognizant of,” says Rob Wasser, a firefighter for Bazetta Township.

Wasser says to not let the ice on Mosquito Creek Lake fool you: You could find yourself needing to be rescued by the local fire departments.

“When we get these big dips in the artic air, it can create ice,” Wasser says. “However, we’ve had a lot of in-between weather, where we have had precipitation, we’ve had 50-degree days — that can make for very unsafe ice conditions.”

As a fisher himself, Wasser has a message about ice fishing.

“People really need to be aware that there is no such thing as ‘safe ice,'” Wasser says.

If you choose to go out, there are some precautions to take.

“Carry a lifejacket or wear a lifejacket, a good length of rope, a set of ice picks and listen to the forecast from a lot of the different forecasts,” Wasser says.

Forecasts are looking pretty mild for the rest of the winter, according to our chief meteorologist Paul Wetzl.

“We’re already working our way into mid-February with mild temperatures, so it’s going to end warm for the most part,” Wetzl says.

Wasser says if you choose to go out this winter, bring a buddy or let someone know where you’re going.