Lions ‘Adopt a Hydrant’ for community safety
By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
With the arrival of so much snow in the mountain area and blizzard warnings being issued for the first time in decades, the Crestline Lions Club saw a potential problem and remembered a solution suggested a long time ago to that problem.
There are many fire hydrants in the mountain area and, with this much snow falling, those hydrants could soon be covered with snow. This has not usually been a problem in the Crestline area in the recent past with the drought and its lower elevation. But, in case of an emergency, the time it takes for the fire department to dig out a frozen fire hydrant can be a major difference between saving a house from a fire and a complete loss of the structure.
The Lions Club was not looking for a community service project, but it seemed to jump up into their faces and they realized how important this could be in case of an emergency. They wanted to rectify this potential problem in as many places as possible.
For decades, the Running Springs Fire Department has instituted an “Adopt a Hydrant” program where residents find a fire hydrant near their home or business and keep it cleared of snow all winter long. This is for the benefit of both the fire department and those who are near that hydrant who may need its service in case of an emergency.
With this recent massive snowfall, most of the hydrants in the Crestline and other mountain areas were quickly covered with snow. If the hydrants have ice form over them, they may become unusable when needed or a pickaxe may be needed to chop off the ice that has encased them.
Through an email sent to all their members and friends, it was suggested that each Lion member find a fire hydrant near their home or business and dig it out to remove the snow and keep it cleared of snow around it, before it ices over.
The members enthusiastically adopted the plan during the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 23 when they realized how much snow had fallen around their local hydrants. Many of the members immediately went out while the soft snow was still falling and cleared away the foot of snow that had already formed around some of the hydrants and these members promise to continue doing so through this storm and for the rest of the winter.
“This small action of clearing around the hydrant, while you are clearing your own driveway, could save your life, a family member, a friend, your home or even our community,” said Lion Catherine Johnson.
Kathy Ogaz has been clearing the snow from around her hydrant on Pioneer Camp Road for years, since a house on Straightway was destroyed by fire, and she saw the value of fire hydrants and how long it takes to clear them of ice and snow. It gives her a feeling of satisfaction knowing her small efforts on the hydrant while clearing her own driveway may benefit others in case of an emergency.
The energetic Crestline Lions Club jumps into action when they see a community need that they can assist in solving. They challenge all other residents in all mountain communities to also “Adopt a Hydrant” near their home as they may be the beneficiary if it is ever needed.
(Photos courtesy of the Crestline Lions Club)
Lions hydrants 1
Lion Catherine Johnson at the corner of Park Lane and Pioneer Camp Road in Crestline clearing around a fire hydrant after the call for safety went out among the Crestline Lions Club.
Lions hydrants 2
Lion Kathy Ogaz clearing around a fire hydrant in Crestline last Thursday.