Clearing snowy fire hydrants helps out firefighters in a big way

Local News

ROCKORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The next time you finish clearing away snow from a recent winter storm, local firefighters say there is one more thing you can do to help first responders.

Shoveling a clear path around fire hydrants can buy critical time in an emergency. For firefighters, every second counts when it comes to saving lives, simple things like having easy access to a fire hydrant are key.

“When we go use the fire hydrants it’s an emergency situation so the quicker we have access to that fire hydrant the better,” said Rockford Fire Inspector Timothy Brown.

Brown urges people to take the time to remove snow and ice off fire hydrants in their neighborhood.

“We like to see three feet in all directions. It just gives us easier access to get to the hydrants,” he explained.

If it’s not done, firefighters have to do it.

“That’s time taken away–critical time that can be taken away from the incident. You’ll see fireman driving around–sometimes we’ll step out of the truck and we’ll shovel when it’s cluttered but we would definitely like your and the help of the citizens,” he added.

Mike De La Rosa lives in the Shaw Woods neighborhood in Rockford. He says something that can take just a few minutes can help our first responders and the whole community.

“There’s some parts of the neighborhood that we have found some hydrants that are still covered in snow. There some road blocks there by the hydrants, so we’re asking all the neighbors to go ahead and clear the hydrants that are near their properties. Clear the snow off of them and do what they can,” De La Rosa said.

Rockford Fire is using social media to get the word out as well–asking you to send them a picture once your nearest hydrant is clear.

“We all work as one it’s us and the public together. So you help us out and we can help you out too,” Brown concluded.

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