The West Fargo Fire Department is urging residents to volunteer to Adopt a Hydrant before this winter season to help them save time and possibly lives.

“There are over 2,000 hydrants in the City of West Fargo, making it impossible for the fire department to maintain during the winter months. If you adopt a hydrant you’re taking the responsibility of shoveling out this hydrant after winter storms,” said Dell Sprecher, Fire Marshal. “This allows us to respond to fires quicker and more efficiently, not wasting valuable time shoveling out a hydrant when we could be saving property and lives.”

This is the second year the Adopt a Water Hydrant online tool is available. Users can access the Adopt a Hydrant tool via the West Fargo Fire Department website (www.westfargofire.org) or directly at https://map.westfargond.gov/AdoptAHydrant/. On the site, visitors can register with their email address and name and then select a hydrant to adopt. After cleaning the hydrant of snow, users can mark the hydrant as clear. The West Fargo Fire Department will also remind adopters to clear hydrants after a snowfall.

Although there is no ordinance requiring residents or commercial property owners to clear hydrants, keeping them clear of snow and ice is critically important during an emergency. Flames can fully engulf a structure in flames in less than 15 minutes, so having a clear fire hydrant increases the department’s response time significantly.

When clearing a hydrant, Sprecher asks volunteers to clear a 3-foot radius around the hydrant and ensuring access is available from the road. The West Fargo Fire Department estimates it can take the average individual about 20 minutes to clear the hydrant with a shovel or brush after an average snow fall. Those who do chose to clear snow should also take frequent breaks and avoid overexertion, which can lead to injuries or even heart attacks.

For more information on Adopt a Hydrant, you can watch the video here.