Fire Hydrant Malfunctions Causing Some Review - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/23/06-Longview

Fire Hydrant Malfunctions Causing Some Review

Once in September, once this month: two faulty fire hydrants have caused problems for firefighters trying to fight big fires. The city has two men, whose full time jobs center on making sure the thousands of hydrants are all in working order.  It's all to avoid incidents like the one that happened just a couple of weeks ago.

Earlier this month, the American Legion Post in Longview went up in flames. Fire crews had to lay down more hose to a second fire hydrant, farther from the building, all because of a faulty hydrant. That's why Legion Vice Commander Amos Snow says more needs to be done.

"They should inspect them, in my opinion, more often and then flag the ones that do not work so that the responding firefighters know where they can find water at," he says.

And Mayor Jay Dean agrees. 

"When you need them they need to work so we just want to make sure as part of this process all of our equipment is working and working properly," he says.

That's why he's asked city officials, like Public Works Director Keith Bonds, to come up with a plan to inspect fire hydrants at least once a year. 

"We have two guys that do virtually nothing but work on fire hydrants, they don't really have much time to do inspections, they just really do repairs," Bonds says.

He says with 3,000 hydrants around town, it's been hard to inspect them all. 

"We thought we could keep up but obviously we fell somewhat behind," Bonds says.

And in the case of the American Legion Post fire... "obviously it had not been inspected in some time."

Mayor Dean has asked the interim city manager, the fire cheif and Keith Bonds to come up with a plan that addresses how these inspections can get done at least once a year. That proposal goes before city council on November 9.

Bonds says as part of that proposal, he's hoping the fire department will help with inspections. That way they can get caught up and make sure no the hydrants are ready in case of emergency.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com.

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