Firefighters remind residents to keep hydrants cleared after heavy snow

Posted at 11:14 PM, Feb 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-02 23:14:17-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The big snow seen across West Michigan this past weekend can also mean some potentially big issues for first responders when it begins to pile up around fire hydrants.

The Grand Rapids Fire Department is reminding people to clear out the fire hydrants near their homes and businesses.

There are more than 7,000 hydrants in Grand Rapids alone with more than 13,000 on the entire Grand Rapids system, which Sehlmeyer admits are way too many for the department alone to maintain.

Grand Rapids currently has an Adopt-a-Hydrant program allowing residents to take over responsibility of a hydrant near their home or business, register it with the city, and commit to maintaining it and clearing the snow away from it.

“It’s hard enough with everything going on and then to get in there to hook to these hydrants so (clearing them out) is helping us out a ton," Sehlmeyer said.

“Ideally we’d like to have it open to the street, that’s more important because that’s the side we’re going to approach it from and ideally about 3 foot around it, you can have it piled up around it we just need that hole to get into it and it’ll make it a whole lot easier.”