Firefighters use meme humor to encourage clearing hydrants
Apr 6, 2023, 6:32 AM
(Michele Hancey Wilson)
KAYSVILLE, Utah — Firefighters are asking for help from the community with clearing fire hydrants of snow in case of an emergency.
The Kaysville City Fire Department has been spreading the word for months with humorous posts, hoping to bring more attention to the message.
Cameron McKinnon, public information officer for the Kaysville Fire Department, said it’s really helpful if people can take the extra second to clear space around the fire hydrants in their neighborhoods (preferably 3 feet around the hydrant) as they do with sidewalks and driveways.
“The problem is if we have a legitimate fire, when we arrive we have to do that and as the snow freezes and becomes ice it can be really difficult,” he said. “If we have a fire the last thing we want to do is be clearing out that fire hydrant. We need to be able to hook it up really quickly.”
Other fire departments around the state have been relaying the same message all winter.
McKinnon said the heavy snowfall has repeatedly buried fire hydrants this season, and hopes to reach a bigger audience with his meme-inspired posts because the problem is not just in Kaysville, it’s much of northern Utah.
“If I (post) something serious, we get hardly any views or shares, comments, things like that. But if I make a comical post, we are able to get the message out still and people receive it — but they are actually engaged,” he said. “That’s what we want is people to actually see what we are talking about and listen to the message and follow through on that.”
The most recent post came after some of the department’s firefighters noticed covered hydrants when they were out driving and stopped to clear some of them.
“When we can we will stop and clear what we can, but it’s obviously a huge community and we can’t go out and clear every hydrant,” he said.
Earlier in the snow season, the Kaysville Fire Department shared a video from a firefighter’s helmet camera that showed how quickly they were able to put out a blaze, which goes to show how a few moments clearing a fire hydrant can make an impact when there is an active fire to fight.
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