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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber sbfdco1's Avatar
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    Default Who clears the Fire Hydrants in your Neighborhood?

    Was walking the dog this morning and just happened to glance over at the fire hydrant at the corner of my property. I could barely see it from the road! My second task when I get home from work, clear the brush from infront on teh hydrant, after I walk the dog of course.

    Figured this is worth a discussion.

    Who takes care of clearing the brush/snow from infront of the hydrants in you neighborhood?

    Ever had to fight mother nature when hitting the hydrant?


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  2. #2
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    in syracuse NY (where it snows more often then it is sunny), crews will go around shoveling hydrants. and yes, in neighboringtowns, we have had structure fires and had the Asst chief digging out the nearest hydrant with his hands (well, until a neighbor offered him a shovel)
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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  3. #3
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Snow isn't usually a problem, but if it is, Local media will put in a plug (no pun intended) for us, asking citizens to clear the hydrant in front of their home. Weeds/Brush is another matter. Sometimes we'll be out and about, and spot one that needs attention. A shot of Roundup from a sprayer will fix it, or, we'll attack the offending vegetation with rakes and shovels. Most of our Hydrants are in good shape, as far as vegetation is concerned. The majority are on the edge of a lawn, either Residential or Commercial. When speaking to Civic groups, Homeowners Associations, and so forth, I mention the importance of keeping hydrants clear.
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  4. #4
    Forum Member Jesika's Avatar
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    We only have one hydrant in our cover area. It is in front of Laprino Foods. They do all the maintenance and care for the hydrant. For the two years I have been a member we have never used it.
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  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber Engine58's Avatar
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    I believe the water Dept cleans around the hydrants for brush & vegetation but for the winter time when it snows if its bad enough we send out the crews who are on standby to dig out hydrants in there Coverage area for the snow storm if the chief deems necessary
    Andrew
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  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Don't you mean:
    who unfolds and fills the porta-tank?
    In our community, the street/water department clears the hydrants, if need be. The property owners understands the importance of the hydrant, so typically, they will clear them.
    Otherwise, the street/water guys do it. They also happen to be on the fire department!
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  7. #7
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    The Department of Public Works Water Division maintains the hydrants. In the warm weather months, they will "weedwhack" the vegetation from around the hydrants.

    We put up hydrant markers in the fall and ask the residents to "adopt their local fire hydrant" for the winter months to keep them free of snow and ice.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  8. #8
    Senior Member NYI4LIFE's Avatar
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    Here, IF it snows, the sun clears it! j/k..but really, the city does and actually for the county, we do after we go and inspect them. we'll pick a weekend and go around testing each hydrant and clear them if we have to.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    During the summer the city cuts grass and shrubs from around the hydrants if the citizens don't. During the winter we clear out around most of them, some of them we don't do much with cause the closest building are abandoned. We also have a shovel on our trucks incase someone missed one or if we get a call right after a snow storm before they get cleared. All of our hydrants now have 4 foot high markers so if there buried we know right were to dig.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    We used to do it ourselves, but no the local utility has taken it on and shovels and weedwhacks. They also ensure the hydrant markers on on and visible for winter. A job we were happy to give up.
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  11. #11
    Forum Member cellblock's Avatar
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    It all depends. Sometimes the city maintenance crews will weedeat around them when they mow the ditches. Other times the paid guys will have to spend shift time riding around with a weedeater on the pumper and keeping the weeds cut back. It really depends on how busy each department is. If the Mayor feels the maintenance department had too much happening them it will fall back on us. Plus it gives us some 'make work' so the Mayor feels we are earning our money instead of just sitting at the station.
    We also may paint the hydrants or it may be taken care of by the maintenance department. We still have to do Hydrant inspections so it's no big deal to take a weedeater out on the truck and do the grass then test the hydrant. We also will take Ant poison to spread on any mounds we find around the hyrdants.
    There are other 'make work' projects we will do.
    Sometimes night shift Firefighters will be tasked with driving the district looking for street lights which are not working. We have to record the lights location and wrap the pole with our yellow 'fire scene' tape so that the maintenance crews can find it and fix it later. If there are 2 of us working that night we can usually knock out quite a few streets in a 12 hour shift. One FF will take the Rescue truck and the other takes the first out pumper and they split the district. Same when it comes to weedeating the hydrants.
    Other jobs I've done while working a shift was to go along with the maintenance crew and flush sewer lines. I'd take one of our 2,000 gallon tanker trucks and we would pull manhole covers and dump about 1,000 gallons of water into each. We'd flush a couple manholes, find a hydrant and refill the truck, the flush a few more. After about 6 hours of that I got to where I could fill and dump a tanker in my sleep.
    Another time we got called by the City Police to respond to a local tire distribution warehouse. The alarm had gone off and the employees beleived someone was inside stealing tires so the police called us to use our thermal imager camera to look for the burglar. We never did find anyne. We think a cat may have been inside and set off the alarm.
    When a new city baseball field was build and the field was seeded the fire department took a pumper out to water the turf about 2 or 3 times a week.
    We pretty much do whatever the mayor needs when we aren't running calls. So we find things to do or the Mayor and the Chief will find them for us.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber ROOKIELZ's Avatar
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    The town maintenance crews look after vegetation.
    For snow...Me and my brother FF's on an as needed basis.
    Sad but true.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    We lost points from ISO as our public works department is suppossed to take care of basic hydrant maintenace, but it hasnt been done in a LONG time and when the fire department asked to take them over the public works people of course had fit saying we were trying to take money away from them ..........they very rarely weedwhack.........and have very few hydrant markers........and do less shoveling of the same .........so I gotta it is very poor.
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  14. #14
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Default

    We do
    flush
    clean
    paint
    grease threads
    flow test
    clear away brush
    set markers
    We don't do R&R's

  15. #15
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    Usually whoever's property the hydrant is on will take care of weeds. Street Dept. takes care of weeds for those on city property or those not done by property owners. The Streets Dept are the ones who do all maintenance on our hydrants. They usually paint them, also, but we have been getting some of them painted by people doing community service. Cheap labor!

    As for shoveling, well, we usually have to do it if it gets too bad. Streets are too busy plowing and most homeowners usually don't think about it or don't care.........

  16. #16
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Question Do What?...............

    Originally posted by firefighterbeau
    some of them we don't do much with cause the closest building are abandoned.

    Wouldn't abandoned buildings nearby be a BIG reason to be sure that hydrant is kept in top shape??
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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  17. #17
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    No snow here, but brush/vegetation clearance is the property owner's responsibility. A good portion of the residential areas in our town have no sidewalks, so hydrants sit in flower beds, shrubs, etc. Technically, the first few feet (five I think, might be ten) is considered city property, but the owner is responsible for maintaining it.

    Fire Prevention does do periodic inspections (mostly for maor brush clearance at the start of wildland season) and will require residents to clear vegetation from hydrants. If any of the rest of us see a problem on a call or just when driving around, we can write up a chit and give it to Prevention and they'll take care of it.

    Of course, my neighbor, who's a retired Captain from a neighboring department, had a more direct solution when he was on the job. He just carried a hedge trimmer on his engine, and if he saw an overgrown hydrant, he'd do a little pruning.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  18. #18
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    Default

    Our Department of Public Works clears out hydrants summer and winter. We also carry Hydrant Repair forms on the engines. If we see anything wrong with a hydrant we write it up and they come out and take care of the problem, ie. weeds, snow, leaks, etc. Last winter we stopped and cleared several hydrant ourselves. We had a rescue call and noticed a local snow removal company covered several hydrants in the subdivision. We then notified the fire inspector and the DPW.

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