Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hidden Fire Hydrants a Problem for WV Firefighters

From wsaz.com:
A serious safety issue is sending up red flags in West Virginia.

It took nearly a mile of fire hose to put out a house fire Monday in Barboursville.

The issue wasn't the fire itself, but finding a hydrant while using an outdated mapping system. The homeowner and her five pets made it safely, with some help from firefighters, but it begs the question -- why go the extra mile?

Shouldn't your fire department know where the hydrants are located? Sometimes they don't. The answer could be GPS mapping of hydrants.

That's what West Virginia American Water is trying to do right now across the state.

In the case of Monday's fire in Barboursville, an inaccurate map book led to a long line of fire hose. The fire department wasn't aware there was a closer hydrant.

"We connected to the fire hydrant we knew," said Lieutenant Andrew Frazier of the Barboursville Volunteer Fire Department. "Yes, it's a longer lay. But we wanted to connect to the hydrant we knew was definitely there."

What happened in Barboursville could easily be repeated anywhere in the country.

Read MORE.

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