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The West Fargo Fire Department has launched its annual Adopt a Hydrant program. Residents are urged to volunteer by adopting a hydrant before the winter season to help save time and lives. Residents who register via the online tool will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card, awarded monthly. Clever, family-friendly hydrant names are encouraged.The Adopt a Hydrant program helps the fire department to maintain the over 2,000 fire hydrants in the City of West Fargo. By adopting a hydrant, you are taking responsibility for shoveling out the hydrant after winter storms. This allows the fire department to respond to fires quickly and efficiently, not wasting valuable time shoveling out a hydrant when firefighters could be saving lives and property.This is the third year the Adopt a Hydrant program online tool is available. To ensure accurate enrollment, the program has been reset from previous years allowing all hydrants to be adopted. Users can access the Adopt a Hydrant tool via the West Fargo Fire Department website (www.westfargofire.org) or directly at https://map.westfargond.gov/AdoptAHydrant/. On the site, visitors can register with their email address and name and then select a hydrant to adopt. After clearing the hydrant of snow, users can mark the hydrant as clear. Although there is no ordinance requiring residents or commercial property owners to clear hydrants, keeping them clear of snow and ice is critically important during an emergency. Flames can fully engulf a structure in less than 15 minutes, so having a clear fire hydrant increases the department’s response time significantly. When clearing a hydrant, volunteers should clear a 3-foot radius around the hydrant and ensure access is available from the road. The West Fargo Fire Department estimates it can take the average individual about 20 minutes to clear the hydrant with a shovel or brush after an average snowfall. Those who do choose to clear snow should take frequent breaks and avoid overexertion, which can lead to injuries or even heart attacks.