Keeping Fire Hydrants Clear of Snow
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.– When we get a lot of snow across the area, that just means we have some chores to do. Is the mailbox clear? Is my driveway shoveled? Another question we should be asking is; are the fire hydrants clear?
When they’re not, that can be a huge pain for fire fighters when they arrive on the scene of a fire. “Now grab a shovel, scoop around that hydrant as fast as you can. Then do everything else that you’re supposed to do, and then get back to the scene. You know, that just causes that much more of a hassle, and takes that much more time”, said Nick Luther, captain, Sioux Falls Fire Department.
He says that every situation is different, but that digging can take away precious time. Luther says “A real wet snow, it’s going to take a little bit longer. If it’s a real wet snow that’s been sitting overnight and it’s frozen, it can be almost impossible to do. And it goes without saying that every second counts at an emergency, especially a structure fire”.
From a fire fighters prospective, how much digging around the hydrant needs to be done?
“The more the better, obviously, but I would say a good 3ft around the hydrant at least would be acceptable”, Luther said.
Luther also mentioned that they haven’t run into too many issues throughout the Sioux Falls area. Luther and his crew at fire station 6 in Sioux Falls went out on a call today, and when they were coming back to the station, they noticed quite a few hydrants that had not been shoveled out.