Fire Chief James Vuona is asking Shrewsbury residents to “Adopt a Fire Hydrant,” which is a request that all able bodied residents shovel out their nearest fire hydrant after any storms.
"This would be a tremendous help in the event of a fire," said Vuona. "We have hydrant books and maps showing the locations of fire hydrants, but oftentimes, snow and snow plows pile up the snow covering the hydrants. If there is a fire, we first need to locate the hydrant and dig out the hydrant before attaching hose to hydrant and then to the fire engine. This causes significant delays when trying to fight a fire."
Vuona added that a fire doubles in size every 30-60 seconds, so time is critical in battling a blaze. The Shrewsbury engines carry between 500-750 gallons of water, which last about three to four minutes before the tank runs dry.
"We have had some winter fires over the years where we had to dig out hydrants and it did cause delays," said Vuona. "Additionally, this is an inefficient use of our limited manpower. Rather than assigning a firefighter to a critical task (i.e. fire suppression, rescue, ventillation, etc…) we must assign someone to locate and dig out our water supply (the hydrant). This makes everyone involved more vulnerable to injury, property damage or worse. A clear path and area around the hydrant is highly beneficial when there is a fire emergency…so again we ask anyone who is able to please help out."