As we all have discovered during our careers, the winter can be a tough time to be a firefighter. Freezing conditions can and will make operations difficult by making lines ineffective, freezing up pumps, making walking surfaces impossible to navigate and turning us firefighters into popsicles.
In addition to all of this, the winter also brings about some considerations that we might not have thought about or that are not as obvious. One of those is the pushing of snow.
In these wintery conditions the plows run up and down the streets and all over the parking lots clearing the snow from the roadways and parking areas. There is little thought about where they are piling the snow except to make sure it isn’t where vehicles are going to be.
Knowing where the fire department connections and hydrants are located prior to them getting covered or blocked by snow is helpful in locating them, but it still doesn’t help in gaining access if they are blocked by tons of snow.
A little pre-planning with the property owner can go a long way. Ask them to communicate with their snow removal company to establish a predetermined place to push the snow to without blocking the FDC or blocking fire lanes.
Be careful and take precautions this winter season. Stay warm and be prepared.