As part of the West Fargo Fire Department’s transition to a City of West Fargo department, the organization is launching a new website at www.westfargofire.org that includes an Adopt a Hydrant digital tool that allows members of the community to register to take care of a hydrant.
Users can access the Adopt a Hydrant tool via the new website or directly at https://map.westfargond.gov/AdoptAHydrant. On the site, visitors can register with their email address and name. Once registered, users can select a hydrant to adopt.
“Adopting a hydrant means you are volunteering to be responsible for clearing the hydrant of snow and ice during the winter and keeping an eye on the hydrant in case of any other issues,” said Dell Sprecher, West Fargo Fire Department Fire Marshal.
After cleaning the hydrant of snow, users will be able to mark the hydrant as clear. The West Fargo Fire Department will also be able to remind adopters to clear hydrants after a snow fall.
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.
“A structure can be fully engulfed in fire in less than 15 minutes and even minimal smoke damage could cause an entire structure to be demolished,” said Sprecher. “If a fire crew has to clear a hydrant once it arrives on scene, this can delay the department’s response significantly.”
When clearing a hydrant, Sprecher asks volunteers to clear a 3-foot radius around the hydrant and ensuring 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 the average snow fall. Those who do chose to clear snow should also take frequent breaks and avoid overexertion, which can lead to injuries or even heart attacks.
The new website also features updated content, images and information from the West Fargo Fire Department. Visitors will be able to sign up for alerts from the West Fargo Fire Department regarding emergencies, events or community information. There is also a page devoted to the department’s strategic plan (https://www.westfargond.gov/966/Strategic-Planning), which provides long-term guidance, goals and timelines for changes in the department.
“The West Fargo Fire Department has been evolving significantly over the past five years,” said Dan Fuller, West Fargo Fire Department Chief. “We’ve built a second station, transitioned to a combination department with career and paid on-call staff, improved our Insurance Services Office rating to help reduce homeowners’ insurance rates, and begun the process of becoming an accredited department.”
According to Fuller, these changes have all been laid out in past strategic plans to help the department successfully respond to incidents in the fastest growing city in the state of North Dakota. The current strategic plan, which runs through 2023, includes a staffing master plan and long-range facility master plan that will have major impacts on the community’s safety.
“Every year we are responding to a record number of calls,” said Fuller. “This new website, digital tool and strategic plans are all critical elements in our commitment to serving the community and protecting lives and property.”
About West Fargo Fire Department
The West Fargo Fire Department is an all hazards, combination department with an authorized strength of 67 employees comprised of 22 full-time employees and 45 part-time or paid, on-call employees. The West Fargo Fire Department has grown to utilize two stations in recent years, but has maintained the same mission - “In a spirit of excellence, integrity and dedication, the West Fargo Fire Department is committed to serving the community, protecting lives and property through the provision of professional fire and emergency services, 24 hours a day.” To view the latest from the West Fargo Fire Department, sign up for alerts at www.westfargond.gov/List.aspx, follow @WestFargoFire on Facebook and @WestFargoFire1 on Twitter.