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Help firefighters help you by clearing hydrants

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Snow happens, as last month made evident. To that end, the Saugatuck Township Fire District asks residents to help it protect their homes by clearing the white stuff away from hydrants.

Firefighters, Kalamazoo Lake Sewer and Water Authority and city public works crews clear snow from about 600 hydrants after it falls each winter.

Doing so is labor intensive but needed, says fire chief Greg Janik.

“In an emergency, each minute is a matter of life and death,” said Janik. “Precious time can be lost if firefighters must first locate and clear snow-buried hydrants.

“Keeping them clear means easier access to water and more time doing what really matters: fighting the fire,” Janik said.

Business and home owners can help themselves and their neighbors by locating nearby hydrants and clearing away the snow in a three-foot radius.

As with all physical activity, the STFD advises, protect yourself from injury by lifting only small portions of snow. If you can push it out of the way, even better.

“We thank citizens for their help with this,” Janik said.