Staying safe when venturing on the ice for fishing or recreation is an extremely important part of winter in Erie.

Just in case something does go wrong, rescue crews were making sure they are prepared to step in and help.

The Coast Guard along with Lake City Fire Company and Fuller Hose Company No. 1 from North East practiced their ice rescue Sunday with an unsuspecting but willing volunteer. Erie News Now's own Jonathan Skinner volunteered to participate in the demonstration.

The rescue teams know being prepared could help save a life, but there are ways you prepare yourself even before venturing out.

"Make sure if you are out on the ice, you have warm clothes, a pair of ice hauls," said Matt Skrekla, captain of Fuller Hose Company No. 1. "Just in case you do get stuck in the ice, you can find your way out. A cellular device to call 911 is very important. Just be prepared for the weather."

Some tips to remember are to check the thickness of the ice and to wear a life jacket.