BELDING, Mich. (WZZM) - Ice is still unsafe across West Michigan. But many peopleare out on lakes fishing and skating. Fire and rescue crews from around the area are preparing for the worst.

For victims in the water it may be the most important 'lift' you'll ever get, a lifeline to shore.

Louis Kirkbride, Grattan's Fire Chief says, "We practice this to get down timing to get people in and off the ice."

Every year, Grattan Fire Department, and area departments rescue fisherman, 4 wheelers, and snow plow drivers from the water.

Grattan's Fire Chief says, "People are out on the lake, there's probably 20 people out there today, and ice really isn't safe yet."

Grattan's Chief says one person needs 3 inches of blue black ice, two or more people need at least four inches of ice.

"Getting to the victim takes very little time, probably 30 seconds and they'll be at the victim."

Even 15 minutes in the water, could be deadly.

"Usually they're so cold they're easy to get out of the water, getting them out is fine, it's about getting to them on time."

But fire and rescue crews want to remind the public, test the ice before going out, because one wrong step, could be your last.