VIDEO: Water Hydrant Navigation
OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Water is a crucial tool for firefighters. The more water to fight fires, the better, and that’s why one local fire department is making sure they have all the water access that they can get in their county.
A limited number of camouflaged water hydrants causes problems for firefighters in Oktibbeha County.
“Getting water to the scene of fire is the very basic problem that rural areas have, outside of distance of course, and so even though we have tank trunks and pumper trucks, we’ve got to worry about water,” says Oktibbeha County Fire Coordinator, Kirk Rosenhan.
That’s why the Central Oktibbeha Fire Department navigated through some research.
“Taking a look at fire hydrants in the county with GPS coordinates, we’ve flowed tested them to give us an idea of are they worth stopping at, but more importantly, these are sometimes on the right away, therefore covered up with brush, dirt, trash, grass, and all sorts of things. Plus, the guys may not all be together familiar with where they are,” says Rosenhan.
In order to solve that issue, several dozen blue traffic reflectors have been placed on roads to guide firefighters to the H2O.
“It’ll be easy for whoever is driving the truck. It will make it easier on them to find the closest hydrant, and to be able to find where it is on the side of the road, therefore, we would get water faster back to the fire scene,” says Oktibbeha County Firefighter, Josh Crittenden.
Firefighters don’t have to worry about running out of water when hydrants are near by and work.
“Pretty much every scene we go to, we start out with our own pump water, and as we get the hoses attached to the hydrants out, then we’ll keep the tanks flowing with the water from the hydrant,” says Oktibbeha County Firefighter, Brandon Crane.
The department funded the project and hopes others might add the blue tool too.
“This was the most economically way to do it. We don’t have to worry about snow plows digging them up, and so we’re trying it out, and hopefully we’ll spread it through out to some other jurisdictions that have a few hydrants available,” says Rosenhan.
There are seven fire departments located throughout the county.