Firefighters Upset by Welded Fire Hydrants

Firefighters in Franklin Fire Department are finding out the Bear Valley Joint Authority has welded the steamers shut on their fire hydrants . They are afraid they could suck the water system dry and collapse the mains. How would you handle this in your area?Post your comments below.

Photo: Publicopiniononline.com

Photo: Publicopiniononline.com

Article posted by publicopiniononline.com ST. THOMAS >> Volunteer firefighters are steamed that a rural water system has welded shut the largest connections on its fire plugs.

According to the Bear Valley Joint Authority, a pump could suck water from the system and collapse its underground pipes.

The issue has become as much about communication as putting out fires.

“I believe that BVJA has a misunderstanding of fire department operations and instead of consulting with us, they make ignorant decisions,” said Mark Trace, fire chief of Franklin Fire Department. “Their actions will most likely decrease the amount of water available to fight a fire and increase the amount of time it takes for the fire department to get water from a hydrant. While the decrease in water may not seem that large, or the amount of time to hook up to the hydrant seem that long, ask the person whose house is on fire how they feel about the delays.”

Fire department officials said they were never notified about the pending action and never given a chance to discuss firefighting operations with BVJA.

“It confuses me: Why would you have fire hydrants and limit the use of them?” said Dale Carbaugh, fire chief of Mercersburg, Montgomery, Peters and Warren Fire Company. “We’re a little upset over this whole thing. No notification is not good business. If we’d talked first, this may not have happened. To go out and do it on their own, I can’t imagine.”

BVJA, a public water system, provides water to about 4,300 customers in Hamilton, St. Thomas and Peters townships. Most are homes. Some are dairy farms.

Franklin, MMPW and St. Thomas Township are the volunteer fire companies serving the BVJA area.

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