Snow-covered hydrants impede emergency crews

Fire hydrants


CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – The snow is starting to pile up, which can be dangerous when it comes to fighting fires.

When the snow is deep, like it is right now, firefighters have to go around the city and dig out the hydrants. And even though they try to keep them clear, residents are asked to help out.

“We try to keep up on it but the thousands that there are in the city, we can’t dig them all out. We don’t have the manpower,” said Youngstown Battalion Chief Ron Russo. “We ask people if it is in front of their house, please keep it clear for us.”

Keeping the hydrants clear of snow and ice benefits everyone and may play a critical role in making sure water is available in the event of a fire.

“Our problem is when they are covered with snow, we can’t find them. We may not even know it is there, and we have to use a hydrant down the street,” Russo said. “If we know it is there and we have to dig it out that could take minutes and minutes count in an emergency.”

Fire departments like the one in Poland and Canfield don’t have the manpower to uncover hydrants themselves. They rely exclusively on residents.

In Canfield, they are utilizing the Adopt a Hydrant program. Residents sign up online and commit to taking care of a hydrant and in return are entered to win a prize.

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