Snow-covered hydrants can delay fighting a fire

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

When a house is on fire someplace in Otter Tail County, the last thing firefighters want to do is waste time removing snow from the nearest fire hydrant. County residents can prevent this by clearing snow from fire hydrants themselves.

“This makes firefighting easier for us,” said one fire chief in Otter Tail County. “Volunteers who remove snow from close to the fire hydrant also are helping the family whose house is on fire.”

Keep in mind the benefits of these two procedures.

  • Shovel a pathway from the street to the fire hydrant so that firefighters can easily access the hydrant.

• Try to remove any ice that might have formed on the hydrant itself.

County firefighters urge Good Samaritans to take their time and know their limitations when removing snow around fire hydrants. The last thing firefighters want to see are heart attacks experienced by those shoveling snow.

Another benefit to removing snow from the roadway to the fire hydrant is preventing frozen hydrants. It’s good when people can help expose hydrants to sunlight.