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The Work of the Hydrant Crews

by 

Don Arbuckle PIO

 

Occasionally, area residents have specific questions regarding various fire operations of the FGFD. Recently, a resident posed the following : 

'Wow ! Ten firefighters to maintain the hydrants? Is this 8 hours per day/5 days per week/52 weeks a year, minus holidays, etc.? 

Our Hydrant Crew Leader, responded to the above as well as detailing other aspects of the hydrant crew operation. The Hydrant Crew is composed of four  2-man crews, two substitutes, and myself (Hydrant Crew Leader). Each of the four crews is designated a specific day of the week (Mon. thru Thurs.) weather permitting. If a crew member is unavailable, then one of the substitutes fills in that day. In the event of weather related issues, or issues encountered on specific hydrants delaying a crew's time, a Friday (open day ) can be scheduled by a crew as a make-up day. Crews work approximately a 4+ hour period. The hydrant crew maintenance season typically runs from spring thru fall . 

Note:  The FGFD is a volunteer fire department. Thus, there is no payment for hydrant crew member hours. 

In addition, one of the specific crews is responsible for 'flow testing'.  Flow testing requires each member of the 2-man crew to be at two different hydrants simultaneously. One hydrant member records the 'static / residual pressure' while the other hydrant member tests the 'flow pressure'. These readings will determine the output of the hydrant in gallons per minute (GPM).

The servicing duties at each hydrant include:  lubricating, cleaning, painting (if needed), flushing, inspection of the hydrant (looking for defects or damage), and maintaining a 36 inch clearance around the hydrant to ensure easy access by firefighters in the event of a fire.

If any defects or damage to a hydrant are observed, they are noted in a written report and submitted to the hydrant crew leader who then forwards that report to the Fairfield Glade Community Club (FGCC).   The FGCC then arranges for necessary repairs.

Currently, there are 449 active fire hydrants in Fairfield Glade with additional hydrants being added annually in response to new construction in FG.

Hydrant Flush.jpg

Crab Orchard Utility District installs the Fairfield Glade hydrants. After hydrant installation it is necessary to open the hydrant and let it run to clear any air that may have become trapped during new hydrant installation. If you see an open hydrant, call Crab Orchard Utility at (931) 484-6987. Do not call the fire department. 

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