This is an exciting month for the West Fargo Fire Department.

With the new city web page, we were able to add a very important interactive application that the city and fire department had been working on for the past year.

With all the snow we have had so far this year and more to come, we hopefully have found an application to help with the cleaning of fire hydrants. It is not uncommon for firefighters to spend allot of extra time shoveling out a fire hydrant when time is of the essence. It can take as long as an extra 15 minutes to shovel out some buried fire hydrants to make them accessible to use by firefighters.

We are certain that when home owners have the fire department show up on the doorstep they would prefer that they begin fighting the fire immediately not have to do snow removal. The fire trucks do carry water, however amount they carry, is not enough to put out larger fires. In this case, it is essential for a fire hydrant to be available at a time when every second counts. So, we are excited to introduce Adopt a Hydrant to the community of West Fargo.

If you go to www.westfargond.gov and look down the left side of the page you will see a fire hydrant icon with the words Adopt a Hydrant underneath it. It’s as easy as pressing a button on the web page, and it will direct you to the adopt-a-hydrant web page.

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The next screen will show you a map of West Fargo showing all the fire hydrants. The green hydrant mean available, grey mean adopted and blue means you adopted it. You will need to sign up by supplying your email address and then you can pick your hydrant (you even have the option to name it).

The great part is you can pick as many fire hydrants as you wish. We recommend cleaning around a fire hydrant a 3 foot radius and this includes access to the street. The reason we need street side cleaned is to ensure fire trucks can hook hoses up from street access without climbing snow banks.

With this application, we should be able to ensure fire hydrants will be accessible to firefighters in case of a fire in your neighborhood. As I drive around town, it gives you a nice feeling knowing that so many residents are already on top of cleaning out fire hydrants. That type of caring community behavior is beneficial not only to the person who clears out the snow but for their neighbors who may not be physically able to clean out the snow.

This application is in the early stages, but in the future we hope to bring prizes and attention to those that go above and beyond in the cleaning process.

We would just like to thank the citizens of West Fargo for helping with the snow removal, because with all the snow that we have received, it is impossible for us to clean snow from all fire hydrants. Bundle up, stay warm and think spring.