Firefighters make sure hydrants are visible

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Firefighters in Petrolia and North Enniskillen have been out shoveling a little extra snow.

Chief Lawrence Swift says over the past few months the department has organized a couple of work parties to help clear snow from around the nearly submerged fire hydrants. The latest was Tuesday.

“Some of them are buried so much we’ve put an X with  spray paint in the snow banks so the public works department can clear them out,” he says.

“We’re not used to doing this; if we were the Parry Sound department we would be used to this.”

Swift says many homeowners have already helped out, clearing snow away from the hydrants which is appreciated. “It’s actually hard enough to find the hydrants at night in the summer time,” says Swift noting it would next to impossible to find them under the snow in the dark.

And he says clearing the snow away will provide valuable seconds if the hydrant is needed. “If everything is frozen shut…they take some time to open already.”

Swift says homeowners can also help emergency personnel by making sure the snow is moved away from their 911 numbers and the vents for the furnace. And he says clearing a walkway will save valuable time, especially in a medical emergency.

The fire department has been called in to help paramedics a number of times this year because they were having a hard time making it to a patient in the snow. “We either shovel the walks or carry the patients through the snow.”