A bill to prevent the type of ‘hydrant confusion’ that hampered firefighting efforts at a Cherry Valley home has been signed into law.
In November, 2014, WTVO broke the story of why the fire hydrants in a Cherry Valley neighborhood didn’t work at the scene of a house fire at 2411 Pine Drop Parkway, causing it to burn nearly to the ground. The President of the utility services company which operated the hydrants told ‘Eyewitness News’ they weren’t fire hydrants, but rather ‘flushing hydrants’ used to maintain the water system.
The problem was the Cherry Valley Fire Department wasn’t aware of that, saying they had even used the hydrants to fight fires in the past.
The issue caught Sen. Steve Stadelman’s (D-Rockford) attention, and on Friday, Senate Bill 373 which he sponsored was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner into law. It requires utility companies to notify fire departments when their hydrants cannot be used for firefighting.
“Firefighters must know the working condition of the hydrants they use to be able to effectively put out fires. Thanks to this new law, no family in Illinois will have to watch their house burn to the ground because the firefighters hadn’t been updated on the status of their hydrants,” said Stadelman in a news release.
The new law is effective immediately.