The Plainview Fire Department is asking residents to help keep fire hydrants clear of snow following the big storm that struck Plainview last week.
Plainview's more than 100 volunteer members do not routinely perform hydrant shoveling following big storms and rely on local residents to clear a path to the devices.
Firefighters said that, ideally, hydrants need to be cleared to ground and with a path about three-feet wide in front. The reason for the clearance is to allow firefighters to operate a hydrant wrench. The device opens the couplings that attach to fire hoses and then is used to open the hydrant's valve, the nut on top of the hydrant.
Seconds count in a fire and blocked hydrants can cause serious delays in getting water on a fire, firefighters say.
Residents can make a big difference by shoveling out fire hydrants on their streets, firefighters say.
There are hundreds of silver and red fire hydrants spread across a 9 square-mile district encompassing Plainview, Old Bethpage and parts of Woodbury. The most recent snowfall dropped about 10 inches on the community and much of it is melting as temperatures rose Sunday.
Some, however, are still snow covered from recent plowing operations. Firefighters ask residents to keep this in mind in future snowstorms.