Ishpeming Fire Department encourages residents to adopt a hydrant

ISHPEMING — With snowbanks piling up, residents across the Upper Peninsula are once again busy snowblowing, shoveling and plowing. One city in Marquette County is asking its residents to think of fire hydrants as they clear their paths and driveways of the winter flakes.

The Ishpeming Fire Department has been asking residents and businesses to take the time to adopt a hydrant for the past few years. By clearing two to three feet of ice and snow around all areas of the hydrant, citizens can help improve emergency response times.

“If we can’t find the hydrant to locate it — obviously we need the hydrants to get water to our trucks and, ultimately, to the people’s homes or business — it would really make a big difference in our response times,” Ishpeming Fire Chief Ed Anderson said. “If we’re out there digging around in a snowbank looking for a hydrant, we might just be two or three feet away from it and really not even know that, so it does save a lot of time.”

The hydrant adoption initiative is informal and voluntary, so Ishpeming residents don’t need to notify the fire department that they have taken up the responsibility. The community has been responsive in past years to the program.

“In the last few years, people have taken it upon themselves to clear some of the hydrants,” Chief Anderson added. “It’s nice to see. [When] you drive around town, you can see the hydrants that have been shoveled out. There’s been quite a few. It’s been nice to see the community take an interest in this.”

Residents are also reminded to never park within 15 feet of a hydrant and to let the Ishpeming Department of Public Works know if a hydrant in your area is leaking or broken.