Pulling together to help firefighters do their job

January 28, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons
Seconds count in an emergency. Given this winter’s ice and snow, fire hydrants were literally buried.
The Township began its “Adopt A Hydrant” campaign to get the public’s help in clearing a three-foot radius around hydrants throughout the municipality. They’re asking residents to look around after each snowfall, grab a shovel and lend a hand.
The intent of the campaign is to “heighten” everyone’s awareness while they’re out clearing their sidewalks and driveways from snow, according to Fire Chief Jim Wall.
“If a fire hydrant is obstructed from a parked vehicle or a large pile of snow, the impact could be devastating to the residents who rely upon that particular fire hydrant for fire protection,” he said.
An obstruction could delay King’s fire department from locating a hydrant in the event of an emergency.  While there’s a very good chance firefighters will find it, they may have to shovel it out in order to use it. These types of delays are preventable, he said, if everyone keeps this in mind while they are out clearing their snow.
Staff from King’s Engineer and Public Works Department were out in full force clearing these hydrants shortly after it was noted that many were buried.
Wall said Engineering and Public Works Department staff have seen a vast improvement since the campaign began.
All municipal fire hydrants are serviced in the late fall in preparation for winter and public works crews ensure the hydrants operate accordingly. They are drained down; and any water that is left in the barrel of the hydrant is pumped out. All of these preventive measures are in preparation of the extreme cold temperatures.
For the fire crews, hydrants are ready for use at any time.
Wall said if they use a hydrant during the winter months, there’s a procedure they must follow afterwards. The location and use of the hydrant is documented; they record how much water was used, and they also “bag” the hydrant with an orange insulated bag to keep the hydrant protected until EPW arrives to service it.  After this, the hydrant is ready for use again.
Wall also praised King’s water and sewer staff, who “do an excellent job in managing our municipal water systems especially during these cold winter months.”
So, grab a shovel and pitch in!



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