In the realm of things we take for granted I’d make a case that fire hydrants are near the top of the most underappreciated list. As brave and well trained as our Fire employees are they are not going to be saving many lives using a bucket brigade. They will however save your life or someone you love when they rush to the scene of a fire and they find a fire hydrant ready and waiting to be used. Quite frankly the fire hydrant was a game changing invention that leveled the playing field between the fire fighter and fire, giving fire crews a fighting chance to save lives. Certainly building sprinkler systems and smoke detectors have made significant contributions to fire safety but my vote still goes for the lowly fire hydrant that stands guard all hours of the night waiting to come to my rescue if I need it.
This benevolent hunk of metal sits quietly yet ever-ready to be called into action watching over us as we sleep. Perhaps because hydrant design hasn’t really changed in the last 150 years we overlook it as old school and take it for granted. It may not vibrate, beep or have customized ring tones and bells and whistles that capture our Blackberry, cell phone, and IPod trained attention spans but it deserves more respect as a saver of lives than the way most of the dogs in town treat it.
Proudly it stands barrel chested through rain, sleet and snow — armed and ready to deliver over 500 gallons of water per minute. The pressure at the hydrant tends to be around 50 psi but when you run it through the pumps on the fire engine these babies can pack a punch which is exactly what you need when the goal is to surround and drown the fire because someone’s life depends on it.
Like any good soldier, hydrants accept their duties without question but they do need a little TLC to make sure that when they are called to duty all their parts and pieces are working as they should be. With that in mind, City crews are getting ready to start the annual hydrant flushing program today. It’s a chance to clean out the old pipes out and make sure all the valves are working properly so that we have the kind of fire flow we’ve come to depend on.
As the City begins its annual hydrant maintenance program show your hydrant a little love and give it a hug (although I’d recommend waiting until the flushing is done).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONTHLY FIRE HYDRANT FLUSHING
FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2009
The City of Kent will be performing routine maintenance of the City’s water distribution system on Friday, March 20th 2009. The maintenance being performed will require the flushing of hydrants in the Southwest and Northwest sections of the City of Kent on Friday between the hours of 7:00AM and 5:00PM.
The maintenance of the water distribution system including the flushing of some hydrants is necessary to clean and maintain the quality of the distribution lines and to maintain water quality and pressure.
During this maintenance you may experience a discoloration of the water in your household. This discoloration does not indicate that the water is unsafe but may have a displeasing appearance and can stain laundry. Because of the possible discoloration, the City recommends that the following procedure be followed during and after the time of flushing before washing clothes:
· Run a glass of water from your tap (allow water to run for 3 to 5 minutes before filling the glass);
· Check the glass for clarity. If clear, clothes may be washed.
If you have any problems or questions regarding the flushing, please call the Service Department at 678-8105.
City of Kent , Ohio
Eugene K. Roberts
Director of Public Service