With all the snow we’ve gotten in such a short span of time, it’s been tough trying to keep up with it and keep our driveways and sidewalks clear. But we’ve all done a pretty good job of it, even to the point of neighbors helping out neighbors who may be incapacitated by injury or illness by doing the shoveling and snow blowing for them. However, there are other areas that need to be kept clear of snow as well, and nothing brought that into sharper perspective than a garage fire that happened this morning:
The fire department responded quickly, as always, to the blaze that was already fully involved in the detached structure, but before they could begin to fight it they had to locate the nearest hydrant and dig it out of the snow bank it was buried in. Had the neighborhood residents cleared it after the last storm, it would have saved the fire department several precious minutes that could have been used to extinguish the fire. Luckily, it was a detached garage that was burning and not the main house with the family still in it. If that had been the case, those extra minutes expended digging out the hydrant may have resulted in a higher cost in property damage or injury or even loss of life.
This is subject that has been discussed almost ad nauseum in our Wallingford Facebook community groups (shout out to Jason Zandri for keeping it top of mind), but there are still many hydrants that remain buried in snow and inaccessible to fire crews that need to get to them quickly. There is currently no formal Adopt-A-Hydrant program in Wallingford that I am aware of, but that doesn’t mean they should remain lonely and abandoned after a snow storm. If everyone who lived near a hydrant would take the initiative to clear the snow 3 feet away from “their” hydrant on all sides after clearing their own driveways and walkways, the fire department could use the precious minutes upon arriving at a fire to actually focus on putting it out, instead of digging the hydrant out first. Those minutes saved could be the difference between life and death.
If you want to know where the fire hydrant nearest to your home or business is, click the link below to open a PDF list of all 1,292 hydrants in Wallingford: