Residents reminded to dig out fire hydrants

POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) — There’s a dangerous situation hiding along  the area’s roads: There are dozens of fire hydrants buried in the snow.

In Poland this weekend, police had to help fire crews find a hydrant that was buried at the scene of a garage fire. And now the fire department is asking for the public’s help to make the situation better.

It is a request Mari Sturbi of Poland was taking seriously on Monday.

“I’m getting out there and I’m going to get that cleared,” Sturbi said.

She knew her fire hydrant was covered in snow and it needed to be dug out. But it took more effort than she expected.

“It’s very difficult. It’s frozen over, glazed over,” Sturbi said.

It took her about 15 minutes to dig out her hydrant from under all that snow. Poland Assistant Fire Chief Jim Stewart said that proves how important it is.

Not only does it take time to dig out a buried hydrant, it also takes time to find them. And time is something firefighters don’t have when something is on fire.

“The more time it takes to find them, then the times it takes to find out they’re frozen, and then makes it even harder for us to do what we have to do,” Stewart said.

He wants everyone who can to do what Sturbi did. In fact, he’s already done it himself.

“I was home last night and I was cleaning off my driveway and I noticed mine was covered and mine’s right in front of the house and I started looking around and realized there’s quite a few that are starting to get covered up,” Stewart said.

Residents should make sure all the snow has been cleared away from the fire hydrant and none is piled up around it. They also should make sure all the valves are easy accessible because that will save firefighters precious minutes if there is an emergency.

If a resident can’t get their hydrant cleared, they should call their fire department.

“You never know. And 30 seconds could make a huge difference in saving a life,” Sturbi said.

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