Chatham Emergency Services Update

By Hunter Marr - HMarr@chathames.org
Chief, Skidaway Division

Where is that darn Fire Hydrant?

Spring is when homeowners in The Landings (or their lawncare contractors) spruce up their yards by clearing out dead branches and leaves and trimming bushes and other vegetation. While this spring yard cleanup is underway, it is the perfect time to locate the fire hydrant on your property, or common space adjacent to your property, and clear the vegetation away from it.

I can understand that some residents might feel that fire hydrants aren’t aesthetically pleasing, as they resemble the space alien ET in a shiny, green sort of way. But from a fire fighting perspective, they are beautiful, and ready access to them is vital. When we arrive on the scene of a structure fire, one of the first things we do is locate the nearest fire hydrant and establish a water supply to the engine we will use to attack the fire. The sooner that water supply can be established, the sooner we can attack and extinguish the fire.

When heavy vegetation prohibits a clear view of a fire hydrant from the street, the process of establishing our water supply is severely impacted, especially at night. I speak from experience when I say it is extremely frustrating to be tromping around in the bushes, in the dark, looking for a fire hydrant, while there is a house on fire nearby. It is equally frustrating to try to get a supply hose attached to a hydrant, while a “decorative” palmetto plant is attacking you.

I am asking everyone to be kind to your local firefighters and protect your home and the homes of your friends and neighbors by clearing a three-foot perimeter around all fire hydrants.

Hopefully, everyone will come to love our shiny green little friends as much as I do!