Lehigh Valley

Firefighters ask for help clearing snow around hydrants

Firefighters ask for help clearing snow around hydrants

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - With the warm up in temperatures this week comes a plea from firefighters: can you help remove snow from around fire hydrants?

There have been two fires in the past few days where hydrants had to be dug out while houses were on fire. Deputy Fire Chief Jason Faryniak with the Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company said he had to ask people to jump into action to help clear snow from around a fire hydrant at a fire on Greenwood Road Sunday.

"Unfortunately I saw that the property where the fire hydrant was, the homeowners did nothing with regards to shoveling and clearing out the hydrant," said Faryniak. "There were numerous bystanders as well as a Salisbury Township Police Officer on scene so I asked if they would be able to be grab some shovels and shovel out the fire hydrant."

"I've been a member of one fire company or another for the past 23 years and we've never had a situation that we had to emergently remove snow from a fire hydrant in response to an actual working fire," he added.

Firefighters said they also had to shovel out a hydrant at a deadly fire in Hanover Township, Northampton County Monday.

The Allentown Fire Department is now asking people to "adopt a fire hydrant."

"With the warm weather coming, it's going to be the perfect opportunity to dig them out," said Allentown Fire Capt. John Christopher. "It would help us out a great deal and the residents of this city if you have a hydrant on your block if everyone on that block can go over and do a little."

It could save precious moments if fire crews ever have to respond to your house.

"If you have to wait five to ten minutes for water, that's the difference between maybe a kitchen fire and losing the whole house," said Christopher.

Firefighters said a three-foot perimeter around the fire hydrant would be a help.

Having residents clear snow around hydrants will also help keep traffic moving in Allentown.

Captain Christopher said, "Now we have to come in with an engine and we pretty much have to take out a whole lane of traffic while we're working on that hydrant."

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