Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Walter Krzeminski: Shoveling out hydrants not firefighters’ duty

To the editor:

On-duty firefighters in Springfield have been spending countless hours shoveling out buried fire hydrants. While this a noble thing to do, it is not the proper thing to do. Fire department companies are in service to use the hydrants in case of emergencies, not to spend hours expending energy uncovering them. This is a requirement of homeowners, landlords, tenants, DPW and Water Department personnel, fire prevention people and police patrolmen.

Imagine shoveling out hydrants for several hours, then immediately going up to the fifth floor of a burning apartment building in full gear and with breathing apparatus, dragging several hundred feet of loaded fire hose.

Other area fire department unions have contractual agreements with the municipalities that prohibit on-duty firefighters shoveling out fire hydrants, other than those on fire department property.

Legislators should consider creating and passing laws requiring on-duty firefighters to only perform their main function.

Walter Krzeminski

Easthampton

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