Citizens asked to adopt hydrants |

Citizens asked to adopt hydrants

SUMMIT COUNTY – Officials from Summit County’s four fire districts are asking citizens to adopt fire hydrants.

The snow that has blanketed Summit County in the past three days has also blanketed hydrants, making it difficult for firefighters to locate them. According to Snake River Fire Department District public information officer David Williams, every second counts, and delays in finding hydrants could mean the difference between saving and losing a house.

As part of the new program, fire officials are asking citizens to remove snow from hydrants and shovel out a path to and around hydrants in their neighborhoods. While the locations of many hydrants are marked with flexible, reflective delineators, those sometimes get broken by snowplows or bent over under the weight of the snow.

According to Jeff Berino, assistant fire chief with the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District, firefighters haven’t been too busy this week because the interstate has been closed. Much of their time has been spent keeping the fire station free of snow. But they don’t have the manpower to keep Summit County’s 2,000-plus hydrants uncovered – especially if snow continues to fall.

“The public works and road guys get them when they can,” said Berino. “And we can hit some when we can. But there’s not enough of us to dig them out.”

He added that fire officials are concerned about the disappearing hydrants.

“Last week, grass was growing underneath them, and now they’re buried,” he said. “If we can’t find them, it makes our operations a bit more difficult.”

Reid Williams contributed to this report

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