Hamden firefighters looking for help clearing hydrants - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hamden firefighters looking for help clearing hydrants

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Hamden firefighters and residents furiously trying to clean out hydrants after Thursday's Blizzard Chris are asking for help.

The town of Hamden said it has more than 1,000 hydrants. 

Firefighters in town spent the day checking on them and digging them out so they'll be ready if needed.

"The biggest issue we have is off the main roads where you get a lot more snow pushed off to the side, those [tend] to get buried a little better, so we try to concentrate on those," Lt. Kevin Martin of the Hamden Fire Department said.

Shovels in hand, Martin and fellow firefighters were digging out and clearing snow away from hydrants; something that will no doubt come in handy the next time they need to connect to one.

"It's critical minutes. We pull up, we can't find the hydrant, we only carry a certain amount of water on the fire truck. Could last five to six minutes, we're out of water, so it's critical for us to get that water supply," Hamden Fire Chief David Berardesca said.

It's an issue fire departments in cities and towns all over the state deal with.

"We have 23 firefighters on duty. We also have a few people from the maintenance shop that help out also. They're out all day long shoveling hydrants. We like a three foot perimeter around the hydrant to get to it, if possible," Berardesca said.

It doesn't take them long to shovel one out, but with so many hydrants to check and clean, it's a process.

"It takes us a while to get to everything, usually a couple days after the storm. In an emergency if we need a hydrant, those extra couple of seconds can actually help us out a lot," Martin said.

With more snow expected this weekend, firefighters across the state have asked residents to pitch in and help them out because one day a clean hydrant could end up saving someone's house.

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