1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    228

    Default Locked hydrants!?

    Guess the department better have a set of bolt cutters with their hydrant wrenchs in the hydrant pack.

    http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com.../newsid/113508

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    tree68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Jefferson County, NY USA
    Posts
    2,301

    Default

    A regional water authority here put a special cap on their hydrants, but not locks. Regular hydrant wrenches won't work. They supplied each department through which their water line runs with the appropriate wrench (which I believe is also available through suppliers if one wants to buy one) and the departments are supposed to report usage.

    As far as I know, fire departments don't have to pay for what they use, though. I think the water authority sees it as a cost of doing business. In fact, since the line generally supplies local municipal systems, the only place it would be used for firefighting is in the rural areas through which it passes.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    MemphisE34a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Memphis, TN - USA
    Posts
    2,526

    Default

    The water department said cut the locks, that's what they should do......to ALL of them.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  4. #4
    makes good girls go bad
    BLSboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    On the beach, Fla/OCNJ
    Posts
    2,859

    Default

    What type of locks are they, just a regular master or a hardened one?
    Seriously it should take even a decent fireman 5 seconds to cut that lock if its a regular Master with bolt cutters.
    A tank holds (generally) 500 gallons of water. Even a 2 1/2 in line will flow (roughly) 200-250 gal.
    Thats 2 min before Bingo.
    5 sec to cut a lock will not make a difference.


    This really sounds like a ******ing match between the FD and the H20 company.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Wheaton IL
    Posts
    1,767

    Default

    Most of us have heard it before, "you use too much water", "you're breaking water mains by closing the hydrant too fast", "you don't know how to use the hydrant" etc.
    Our water department claimed we used 1,000,000 gallons of water at drill...till they found several leaking mains in town.
    This is absolute BS. Just keep a set of bolt cutters nearby, it won't delay things enough to make a difference. In the meantime have the chief make nice with the water department.
    Paying for FF water is totally wrong, have them Bill the homeowner and see how far that goes.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    FyredUp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Rural Wisconsin, Retired from the burbs of Milwaukee
    Posts
    10,169

    Default

    Sounds to me like a perfect case to take to the court of public opinion. Do an article in the local paper detailing what is going on, explaining what problems it may cause and see what the public thinks. If they are concerned or outraged over it my belief is it will change. If they don't care...so be it.

    My village tried to have us put a water meter on every time we used water in a drill until we explained that a 2 inch meter simply was not going to flow enough water in some cases. We agreed to make an educated estimate of how much water we used and to document it. So far so good.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    firemanpat29's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    427

    Default

    the hydrant infront of our station, wich is the one they want us to use to normally refill the trucks and tanker, has a watermeter. (its also the only hydrant in town that is on the far side of the sidewalk, and has a lamp post on the street side of walk where the rest of the hydrants are) The town "charges" the fire dept for that water. I dont think they charge us for using the others in a fire.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    The water company in CT does not charge or care. They ask that we report significant usage just so they know they don't have some big leak. In fact, with one phone call they'll boost the supply pumps to give us MORE free water.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,111

    Default

    We don't get charged for water but they sure do make us keep track of what water we use. Last year the City had about an 8 million gallon deficit and got in trouble with the Department of Natural Resources (water is a natural resource)

    So now the water department is very jumpy whenever we use water to make sure we report a guess as to how much we use. We guess very high
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  10. #10
    Back In Black
    ChiefKN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    The Nice Part of New Jersey
    Posts
    6,981

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    The water department said cut the locks, that's what they should do......to ALL of them.
    Amen... not a cop in my town that would arrest us.

    What a crock
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,167

    Default

    I wish we could pay for just the water we use. Our private water company charges the department a $50\yr per hydrant fee. We have 8600 hydrants in the city alone. That is $480,000 whether we flow or not.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    3,896

    Default

    Have seen the locks also

    One explanation I heard was to prevent terrorist from pumping stuff into the system

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    CrnkB8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    217

    Default

    Just cut the lock if you need to use it. I can cut through a lock (especially the one in the picture) in less time than it takes to fumble with a key. I see the problem with NOT notifying the fire dept prior to the installation, especially since not many of use carry bolt cutters in our hydrant bags, which could delay and/or hamper efforts to establish a water supply.

    Also, keys get lost, locks freeze up and rust. Suppose you are in a cold weather area or area that receives a lot of moisture. Unless the lock is maintained in an operable condition, keys are almost useless. I could see having a key to unlock the hydrant for training, but in an emergency, "just cut the lock".

    I think it's ridiculous that they want to charge the fire dept for water usage, especially since the reason we have hydrants is for firefighting purposes. Our water dept doesn't charge us, but we have to report usage along with the amount of water used.

    Based on the article, it sounds like the "differences" between the fire dept and water dept didn't just develop overnight.
    The most important task on the fireground is the one YOU have!

  14. #14
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Thumbs down Idiots............

    Probably one of the Stupidest things I've ever seen. Obstruct our access to a Water source, Public or Private, and you're going to Jail. No Question. Again, one of those Small Town ego trip things by the Water People. I'll say this for the Umpy Gazillionth Time: Every Fire Department on the Planet should have FREE and IMMEDIATE ACCESS to all of the Water that they Want. Period. Regardless of wether it's a Fire, a Drill, a Pump Test, Whatever. Again, this is one of those areas where small people in a small town should be removed from their positions. This is another example of why I am such a big proponent of ending all local Government below the County Level. a Vast majority of our problems in the Fire Service are caused or continued by Little People in Little Positions...........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Now Durham nc
    Posts
    3

    Default Hydrant locks

    Bet they would have trouble keeping a lock on hydrants nearest my house

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Here, There, Everywhere
    Posts
    4,191

    Default NY Times

    Cracking the Locks on Relief

    By MANNY FERNANDEZ



    ROASTING in the July heat, a teenager entered a dry cleaner near the northern tip of Manhattan carrying an electric drill and an extension cord. He told the owner he needed to plug the cord in for one minute.

    The young man was not in construction. His car was not in need of repair. He was trying to open the fire hydrant outside the dry cleaner, at the corner of Thayer Street and Sherman Avenue in Inwood.

    Few neighborhood traditions are as old and as cherished as opening a fire hydrant on a hot summer day in New York City. There are 109,000 hydrants in the five boroughs — 357 per square mile — and nearly all of them have at some point in their anonymous cast-iron lives put out fires of a different sort: cooling the overheated hands, heads and hearts of the young and the old.

    Scenes of children playing in the misty spray of a New York hydrant still unfold daily, but many hydrants have become more difficult to open because of city-installed locking devices, raising the art of turning them on to new levels of sophistication and mischief.

    In some hydrant-loving neighborhoods, young men spend hours on the challenge of cracking open a so-called custodial lock, a muffin-shaped cap that the city has placed on top of about 45,000 hydrants to prevent tampering. They drill. They bang. They use adjustable pipe wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers. They take apart stereo equipment because somebody told them a component inside works best on the locks, which cost the city about $389 each, a fact that few of those who regularly bust them open seem either aware of or the least bit concerned about.

    “Everybody in this neighborhood knows how to open a pump,” one Inwood teenager boasted. “There’s kids, 7-year-olds, they can open one.”

    Tampering with a hydrant, even those like the one on Thayer Street that have city-sanctioned spray caps to reduce the flow, is illegal; opening one without a cap can lead to fines of up to $1,000 and imprisonment of up to 30 days. The Manhattan district attorney has prosecuted at least two men in recent years on misdemeanor charges related to fire hydrants: in one case in 2007, a police officer watched a 25-year-old man strike a hydrant in Washington Heights several times with a wrench and break off the locking device using the not-so-secret weapon in the city’s summertime hydrant wars — a magnet.

    Officials said young people could damage hydrants to the point that they would fail to work properly in the event of a fire. Open hydrants also can reduce the flow of water to fire hoses blocks away and decrease water pressure to nearby homes and businesses. At least four children have been killed in New York since 1924 after the force of water from an open hydrant pushed them into the paths of cars and trucks. And city water crews sent to shut off hydrants have been threatened and even assaulted.

    “You may be trying to cool off,” said Cas Holloway, the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, “but what you’re really doing is putting yourself and the neighborhood at risk.”

    (Spray caps, which can be requested at firehouses by anyone 18 or over, reduce the risk by cutting the flow to about 25 gallons per minute from more than 1,000 gallons per minute — the equivalent of 400 showers running at once. But officials said that even with spray caps, only firefighters were supposed to turn the water on.)

    Shortly after 2 p.m. on a recent 90-degree afternoon, a couple of days after the teenager with the drill had gone into the dry cleaner, a group of young men approached the hydrant at Thayer Street and Sherman Avenue. One stood as a lookout while another fiddled with a shiny disc. The disc-fiddler appeared at first glance to be wearing one of those “I ♥ NY” T-shirts, but upon closer inspection it actually read “I ♥ My Money.”

    They worked on the hydrant for more than 10 minutes, pulling up on the base, making mysterious refinements to their mysterious disc and, at one point, checking underneath the adjacent mailbox as if searching for something they had stored there. Then they noticed a reporter and photographer observing them and abruptly gave up (a watched hydrant never opens). When the journalists returned about an hour later, the hydrant was spraying thin lines of water in a low arc across Thayer Street. None of the young men wanted to take credit.

    The Thayer Street hydrant is not just any fireplug. It is the city’s most-opened hydrant this year; by July 27, 311 operators had logged 75 complaints about it. During the record-breaking heat wave from July 4 to July 7, the Department of Environmental Protection shut the hydrant at least 30 times in response to complaints.

    It sits at the edge of the sidewalk near the busy Sherman Avenue, across from a bodega in a largely Dominican area where even the Korean storekeepers are fluent in Spanish. People line this sidewalk in summer, sitting on milk crates and lawn chairs. With so many eyes transforming the street into a stage, a hydrant on a hot day is an illicit way for young men to earn some attention and gratitude.

    “This is the fountain of youth,” said a proud Omar Cruz, 21, dipping his head into the spray.

    For Mr. Cruz, the open hydrant is a statement — about class, economics, urban life and the shortage of public pools in struggling neighborhoods. “People in the suburbs, they have pools in their backyards,” Mr. Cruz explained. “At the end of the day, this is what we have.”

    More than a month had passed since the Thayer Street hydrant had been used by firefighters for the purpose for which it had been manufactured, in Chattanooga, Tenn., at a cost to the city of about $1,500. Now, the water streaming out of it at a rate of about 25 gallons per minute soaked the right foot of a bespectacled gray-haired woman. It filled the foam cup of a sandal-clad Santiago Quinones, 54, who lives in the apartment building across the street.

    No one who stopped at the hydrant stayed very long, or asked any questions about who had turned it on. An elderly woman wet her handkerchief. A man washed his hands after he finished eating. A woman gave her shopping cart, loaded with bottles and cans, a brief shower. A mother and daughter each dipped their hands in the spray and touched their foreheads, as if dabbing themselves with holy water.

    But the hydrant’s most frequent consumers were neither men, women nor children. Minivans, a black BMW and numerous other vehicles pulled up to the spray and parked for several minutes, enjoying a free car wash, courtesy of neighborhood youths and the City of New York’s multibillion-dollar water system.

    FTM-PTB

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    DeputyMarshal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    2,638

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    The water company in CT does not charge or care.
    If you're referring to Connecticut, I wish it were that easy. We have dozens fo water providers in the state ranging from private water utilities, municipal water companies, incorporated water districts, and even fire district water companies. They all have their own quirks and regulations which is one of the biggest impediments we have to requiring residential fire sprinklers regulations in the fire code.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    MemphisE34a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Memphis, TN - USA
    Posts
    2,526

    Default

    Fred,

    That makes an intersting read, but I doubt it applies in many instances outside of NYC.......especially the town everyone was talking about.

    We have hundreds of thousands of the same ghetto kids here and in the last 16 years I have never seen a hydrant opened by residents for the kids to play in.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 08-08-2010 at 11:06 AM.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Drive the streets of Philadelphia on any given day in the summer and you will see people of all ages playing in the water from an open hydrant. There hasnt been a device designed that will prevent this from occuring. If these people spent as much time educating themselves and applying this education to a chosen profession, they too could be living in the suburbs with a pool in their back yard.

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    Bushwhacker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Northern Rockies Region
    Posts
    638

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Probably one of the Stupidest things I've ever seen. Obstruct our access to a Water source, Public or Private, and you're going to Jail. No Question. Again, one of those Small Town ego trip things by the Water People. I'll say this for the Umpy Gazillionth Time: Every Fire Department on the Planet should have FREE and IMMEDIATE ACCESS to all of the Water that they Want. Period. Regardless of wether it's a Fire, a Drill, a Pump Test, Whatever. Again, this is one of those areas where small people in a small town should be removed from their positions. This is another example of why I am such a big proponent of ending all local Government below the County Level. a Vast majority of our problems in the Fire Service are caused or continued by Little People in Little Positions...........
    AMEN HARVE! You Nailed it.
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

  21. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,802

    Default

    This is stupid, they should use a locking type hydrant if they are so concerned. Yea, bolt cutters will handle it but thats an extra step and an extra tool which although very simple is another opportunity for failure. Locking tops, you just swap out hydrant wrenches from the standard to the locking kind. So no extra tool to bring along and no extra step.

    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Have seen the locks also

    One explanation I heard was to prevent terrorist from pumping stuff into the system
    I thought hydrants were set up with back flow prevention valves.

  22. #22
    Forum Member
    CaptOldTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,256

    Default

    Forget the bolt cutters. Take a HUX BAR and put it with the plug wrench and use the either end to rip the lock apart and then use the same tool to open the plug.

    Either that or a Halligan.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  23. #23
    Forum Member
    Bushwhacker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Northern Rockies Region
    Posts
    638

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Forget the bolt cutters. Take a HUX BAR and put it with the plug wrench and use the either end to rip the lock apart and then use the same tool to open the plug.

    Either that or a Halligan.
    Not a crow bar?
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

  24. #24
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,802

    Default

    I'd just donkey kick the hydrant, snapping the sacrificial bolts. Grab the valve rod with bare hands and open it, then jam the hose down the upright. Hydrants are for losers anyways, I hook right to the main.

  25. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Posts
    1,156

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I'd just donkey kick the hydrant, snapping the sacrificial bolts. Grab the valve rod with bare hands and open it, then jam the hose down the upright. Hydrants are for losers anyways, I hook right to the main.
    What about ripping the valve rod out with your teeth?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Lealman--Major 2003 Fire leads to new hydrants
    By captstanm1 in forum Florida
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-01-2005, 05:10 PM
  2. Specifying the Location of rural hydrants
    By neiowa in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-23-2005, 04:01 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-28-2003, 10:10 AM
  4. Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-28-2003, 09:50 AM
  5. Isle of Capri Asks County to Install Hydrants
    By captstanm1 in forum Florida
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-13-2003, 09:10 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register