Every second matters when fighting a fire but valuable seconds are lost when firefighters must clear snow away from fire hydrants. Geoff Redick has the story.
TROY, N.Y. - It's like a game of hide-and-seek, or "Where's Waldo." But the stakes are much higher.
Every day during winter, Troy city firefighters head out on city streets to find fire hydrants. Especially in this winter, this is no easy task: the hydrants have been shoveled, plowed and iced over several times.
"This winter is the first winter in three years that we've had to actually shovel hydrants," said Battalion Fire Chief David Paul. "Our guys dig out the hydrants, but then the plows continue to clean the streets, and they plow it back in. People shovel their sidewalks, and throw the snow on top of the hydrants."
It adds up to four or five-foot snowdrifts hiding the hydrants. This can prove disastrous during a fire call, when minutes and seconds matter in the success of the fight. When firefighters spend that time digging out hydrants, there is less manpower available to fight the fire.
Clearing fire hydrants of snow and ice is the responsibility of property owners. If you are able, firefighters ask you to take some time to clear your hydrant of any obstructions.