Written by By Laurence Jacobs, 1st Assistant Chief Friday, 18 February 2011 00:00
After the recent snow, rain and ice, fire hydrants may be unavailable for firefighters in the event of a fire. Please take a few minutes to shovel in front of and around the fire hydrant closest to your home or business. In the event of fire in your neighborhood, the time saved could be vital. In most cases in our area, hydrants are located within 500 feet of one another, either on your side of the street, or the opposite side.
The fire hydrant is something often taken for granted or even loathed, especially when looking for a parking space. In our community, they are marked with a four-foot long, red and white striped fiberglass flag. In some cases, that flag is nearly buried under the snowfall and the residue from our plowed roads.
Unfortunately, many homeowners have not yet dug out their closest fire hydrant from our last snowfall. In fact, some homeowners and their plowing contractors have buried these important resources in the snow that they are clearing from sidewalks and driveways. This is a violation of New York State Law. Residents should remove the snow and give clear access to the hydrant within 24 hours of the end of any snowstorm. This is not a service that you receive from your local municipal government. In some areas of high life risk, the hydrants have been cleared by the members of the Vigilant Fire Company.
The last thing anyone wants to do after clearing their driveway and sidewalk of snow is to dig out another four-foot square of white snow —-especially the extra heavy snow that our plows have left for us. But that extra effort could be a life-saving measure. The life you save could be your own.
Please help our community by clearing the snow from in front of and around the fire hydrant nearest your home in both directions.