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Great Falls Fire Rescue asks public to clear snow from fire hydrants

Posted at 2:47 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-18 16:47:47-05

The recent winter storms and the following clean-up have left a lot of snow around town.

Now, Great Falls Fire Rescue is reminding the public to make sure snow is not piled on hydrants.

Easy access to fire hydrants is critical to a quick fire response.

Firefighters said they need three feet around the hydrant clear of snow so they can fit the wrench they use to open it.

They said most Great Falls fire trucks only carry about 500 gallons of water and that runs out fast when fighting a fire.

Lt. Kris Whitaker said water is essential and a delay in response can cost precious minutes.

“Three to five minutes might be all we have in terms of putting that fire out before it’s overtaken the rest of the building so you can see that if we’re spending that time on the hydrant versus being able to actually put the fire out, you can see that could be the difference between saving a home or not,” Whitaker said.

It’s important to check hydrants regularly to ensure they are not covered by snow being plowed from the road or cleared from the sidewalk.

-Reported by Joe Huisinga/MTN News