Firefighters ask for help digging out fire hydrants

Jan 16, 2023, 10:02 PM | Updated: Jan 17, 2023, 6:36 am

MORGAN COUNTY, Utah — Firefighters in the Mountain Green Fire Protection District are asking for help digging out fire hydrants from deep snow in case of an emergency.

Firefighters all over the state face this issue each winter as heavy snow from shoveling and snowplows can quickly cover up fire hydrants.

Nate Tobler, a volunteer firefighter and EMT said, “Just make sure that your fire hydrants are accessible in case we get a fire.”

He said that with hundreds of fire hydrants in areas with lots of snow, it can be time-consuming for firefighters to dig out the fire hydrant, using precious time to save a home from burning.

“We’ve had about eight feet of snow, running total so far this year, and that’s an extraordinary amount for us to try to slog through, especially if we have a house fire, and we need to hit that fire hydrant,” he said.

Fire Chief Brian Brendel said they got a real-world example of why they need homeowners’ help three years ago.

“We carry 1,000 gallons of water on the fire truck. that sounds like it’s a lot,” he said. “Remember, fire grows exponentially every minute, so that means you get a tremendous amount of fire. We had quite a bit of fire in that house.”

In a larger fire, one in Peterson, they often need more. Firefighters had to spend several minutes digging out the nearest hydrant. That’s time you won’t want to give up.

Ideally, firefighters would need at least three feet all the way around a hydrant, so they can crank it open. They also need a path out to the street for their hose.

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