Monticello residents asked to clear fire hydrants

The Monticello Fire Department has an urgent weather-related request. Fire Chief Steve Joerg needs residents to clear snow from neighborhood hydrants.
“I have real concerns right now with us having a structure fire, and not being able to locate hydrants right away” Joerg said, adding that if you live in a town home development or own a business and use a contractor for snow removal, hydrants must be cleared out.
“We would like residents to clear a 3-foot space all around the area of a hydrant,” he said. “That gives us room in case we have to hook up different hoses. A lot of times, what happens is we’ll have a firefighter arrive and he’ll jump out and grab a large diameter hose, and he has to be able to wrap that hose around the hydrant. When the truck pulls away and  heads towards the fire, having that space allows the hose to sinch up correctly with the hydrant.”
According to Joerg, firefighters also need room to hook up the hose because it’s big and heavy. Earlier this week, Joerg said he had an elderly couple call the fire department with a concern related to a blocked fire hydrant.
“A women called and mentioned her husband is handicapped, and could not clear the hydrant. We went out and cleared the hydrant. Do I want to go out and do that? No, and we can’t have everybody calling us to come out and clear them.” Joerg added Monticello Public Works has been trying to get workers out to clear hydrants.
“If we could have people adopt a hydrant, that would be great,” he said. “Its the hydrants in the cul-de-sac that give us the most concern. I realize there’s a lot of snow, but if people could just get some kind of path shoveled, it will help us in the long run. The house you could be saving from a fire could be your own.”

Contact Tim Hennagir at [email protected]