FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) - Fire departments across the area are always asking people after it snows to make sure fire hydrants near their homes are clear and accessible.
This week's snowfall, followed by bitter cold temperatures, has led to an issue with hydrants being buried again. Fond du Lac Fire Rescue has found a sweet way to encourage people to dig out the hydrants.
There are more than 2,000 fire hydrants in the city of Fond du Lac. According to Fire Chief Pete O'Leary, more hydrants than not remain buried under the snow.
It's a frustrating sight. Chief O'Leary says, "You don't know you're going to need it until the day you need it. And if somebody knew today was the day they were going to have a fire on their block, I'm sure they'd get out and shovel that hydrant."
In hopes of motivating people to clean up around fire hydrants still buried in snow, the fire department teamed up with the Dairy Queen restaurant on West Johnson Street for a sweet Adopt-a-Hydrant program.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, February 2, Fond du Lac Fire Rescue is asking city residents to take the time to dig out a buried hydrant near their home, then report their good deed by calling Fire Station 1 at (920) 322-3803. This offer is available to Fond du Lac city residents only.
"If they call between those hours, we will send a fire crew over to their house after they've completed the task, and then if they've done a good job we'll reward them with one of these free Blizzard coupons," says O'Leary.
The "Blizzard for a blizzard" idea was something DQ franchise owner Manny Patel could get behind. Patel said with a grin, "Never cold for ice cream, and everyone loves Dairy Queen ice cream."
And according to the fire chief, those 5 minutes it would take to dig out a hydrant could make all the difference for not only his crews but also your neighbors and their homes.