Sun Prairie firefighters spent the day Saturday digging out one-third of the city's 1,300 fire hydrants.
Snow-buried fire hydrants are the responsibility of homeowners, but volunteer firefighters said helping clear the snow ultimately helps them do their job.
"Been trying to stay ahead of it like everyone else in the neighborhood this week, but it's a losing battle," said homeowner Dan Trampf.
Trampf thought a few minutes with his snowblower would help clear the hydrant near his Sun Prairie home.
But he said the snow was packed in tighter than he thought.
He welcomed the extra hands and shovels.
"We're blessed in Sun Prairie," said Trampf. "We've got a great fire department and great city services. It's really nice that they could come out on their Saturday and help us out, as we try to help them out."
"When we had the amount of snow we got the last couple of weeks, we looked at it and thought it was a good, viable thing to get working on, and help everybody out," said Sun Prairie Fire Chief Steve Knaus.
Knaus said more than 30 firefighters and volunteers helped in the effort.
"It was icy, there was one that was completely buried, and that was about 5 inches of ice, it was a pain, that's for sure," said Knaus.
Knaus said his crews already dealt with buried hydrants for one emergency call last week.
They hoped that devoting one day of digging out would prevent any future delays.
"When we respond with a crew of four or five, you need all five of them to put the fire out, you can't spare two of them to be shoveling the hydrant out," said Knaus.
During the digging out on Saturday, crews responded to three separate emergency calls, which is why they said it's even more important to clear those hydrants as soon as possible.