Fire departments promote adopting a hydrant

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Fond du Lac, Wis. (WBAY)- We've reported on two different house fires in our area over the past two days.

To help reduce the damage of similar fires, area fire departments are taking a step to make sure they can get access to fire hydrants.

A Grand Chute fire truck can hold between 250 and 700 gallons of water.

"We can be flowing anywhere from 150 gallons a minute, so that gives us about 3 minutes of water we bring with us," said John Gerarden, Grand Chute firefighter.

When that's not enough, they turn to fire hydrants to get them the rest of the way.

But when hydrants are covered with snow, it could mean precious moments spent clearing snow from around the hydrant.

Plus, it can take time just finding the hydrant.

"You could be digging around in that area and that can slow you down in a crucial situation," said Battalion Chief Jeff Felauer, Appleton Fire Department.

That's why fire departments like Appleton and Grand Chute hope community members adopt a fire hydrant.

They’re asking people, if you see a hydrant blocked by snow, clear it off, especially before large winter snowfalls hit and make deep snow banks.

"Everybody should know where their hydrant is that's going to serve if they potentially have a fire at their house,” Felauer said. “It'd be great to talk among neighbors and say, 'hey, we're going to keep this hydrant clear.'"

A small act could prove to be important down the road.

"This is a sort of thing you could take a couple minutes and clear out your hydrant,” Gerarden said. “And like I said, hopefully it's never needed but in the event that it is, it's really a Godsend."