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Removing the snow from around hydrants like this one could take firefighters several minutes, costing them precious time in an emergency situation.
The Minot Fire Department is asking residents and business owners to help keep hydrants clear of snow in case of emergency.
“The time it takes us to dig out a hydrant when we arrive on the scene of a fire could be the difference in saving someone’s life or property,” said Minot Fire Chief Kelli Kronschnabel. “With approximately 2,500 hydrants in the City, it’s difficult to keep all of them clear of snow. We’re asking the public for their help.”
There is no City ordinance requiring residents or business-owners to clear snow from around hydrants, but Kronschnabel said residents have provided much-needed assistance in past years. She’s asking for help again this year.
“The public has been great about lending a hand with the hydrants, and I want to say thank you,” Kronschnabel said. “Now that we’ve had more snow in recent weeks, the City is working to make sure all the hydrants remain clear. We welcome the public’s assistance.”
Residents and business owners can help by clearing a path from the street to the hydrant, then clearing a three-foot area around the hydrant. Battalion Chief Glen Hardy of the Minot Fire Department said the few minutes it takes a resident to clear a hydrant saves his crews valuable time during an emergency.
“Truly, every second matters,” Hardy said. “The two or three minutes it takes us to shovel out a hydrant during a fire emergency is time we could be working on actually fighting the fire. But if the hydrant is already clear, we can quickly hook up our hoses and get to work.”