Thursday, January 20, 2011
The ability to find a hydrant in a time of emergency is essential to the duties of a Fulton firefighter. When snow is forecasted, keeping hydrants clear is important for city residents.
“As long as we can see the top part of it, which would take significant amounts of snow to cover, we are good,” said Dean Buffington, Fulton fire chief. “If a resident wishes, they can broom lightly around the hydrant so it can be easily seen, but they are painted silver which helps us see them.”
Buffington said time is a big factor when looking for a water source to fight a fire.
“We don’t want to have to look for it, or reference a map to find a hydrant,” Buffington said. “It’s a big time thing to have the hydrant and water supply established.”
He said if a hydrant is in a resident’s yard, it is the resident’s responsibility to make sure it is easily seen. If it is in the city right-of-way, the city will take care of making sure grass does not grow around it or the hydrant isn’t covered by snow.
“We normally have very few problems with our hydrants,” Buffington said. “People are really good about not planting around them and keeping the hydrants accessible to us. Generally speaking, we have a pretty good and compliant population in Fulton.”
Fulton Fire Department recently painted the hydrants silver, which helps lower fire insurance in Fulton city limits. The department also plans to color code them again in the spring to keep those rates low.