MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – As we get into the heart of winter, increased snowfall means that fire hydrants can end up buried underneath a pile of snow.
Marshfield Utilities undertakes the task of clearing the snow around fire hydrants in the city. Citizens with a fire hydrant nearby can also help keep it accessible by clearing a perimeter of 3 feet around it with a clear-away zone to the street, or contact Marshfield Utilities if they notice one that is covered.
“Our goal is ensuring the Marshfield Fire Department can access the fire hydrants when needed to fight a fire and keep our community safe. We appreciate any community members that remove the snow from around a fire hydrant,” said Nicolas Kumm, General Manager.
“The biggest issue for the fire department is the delay in establishing a water supply to the engine in the event of a fire,” former fire chief Scott Owen said in a 2019 interview. “We carry a limited amount of water on the engines and rely on quick, easy access to the hydrants to ensure suppressions efforts are able to be completed/continued without any interruption.”
During major snow events, Marshfield Utilities puts out a request for assistance on its Facebook page. The more that take up the task, the faster fire hydrants are able to be cleared after a storm – and remain accessible in an emergency.
“A fire hydrant covered by snow can be challenging to locate (all hydrants should have a flag marker that extends up a number of feet to assist with locating) and once located, will need to be dug out,” said Kumm.
“If we have to clean out a hydrant before we can connect to it and use it, there will be a delay, which could result in a greater amount of damage/loss, or worse,” said Owen.
Any community member who notices a fire hydrant covered by snow can contact Marshfield Utilities at 715-387-1195.
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