A fire hydrant on or near your property is only useful if firefighters can get to it.
A couple of years ago, I followed a crew of Orange Volunteer Firefighters on a frigid night as they cleared fire hydrants around town.
It took several fit, healthy full grown men several minutes to clear around one fire hydrant that had been buried in snow and ice, ignored by the homeowner ($564,600 house at the time) whose driveway – 2 feet away was crystal clear.
In an emergency, the 5 minutes that it took to clear the hydrant could have been utilized fighting a fire.
I drove around town yesterday looking at all the fire hydrants in a 5 block area and only 1 (ONE) out of 10 (TEN) appeared to have been attended to. All of the others were surrounded by snow within 5-inches of the side connectors. After this morning’s snow and ice accumulation, it’s clear that these hydrants would not be immediately accessible to fire personnel if YOUR home was on fire.
Do yourselves and the Orange VOLUNTEER Fire Department a favor, when it stops raining, get out there and clear around the fire hydrant closest to YOUR property.
If you do it immediately, the snow under the ice coating will still be a little “soft”. Yes, it will be heavy and not pleasant, but once it freezes over, it will be even more difficult and take much longer to clear.
The members of the Orange VOLUNTEER Fire Department have been ordered to meet at Station 2 tonight — it will be dark and about 34-degrees — for hydrant detail. That means the highly trained, hard-working men and women who VOLUNTEER to protect you and your property will leave the comfort of their homes and families to go out and clear around the fire hydrants in town. Knowing that at any given moment he or she can be called to respond to an emergency situation somewhere else in town.
Take a few minutes to clear around the hydrant near your home, then send Orange Live a photo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m sure the firefighters will greatly appreciate the help.