Monday, February 10, 2020

Week 26: Freeing Fire Hydrants

Growing up with a firefighter for a father impacts not only your formative years, but each of the years beyond.

It is because of my childhood experiences that I desire a strong community, care deeply and express if often (I've never not been aware of how precious life is), and don't mind my unusual work schedule. It is why I seek daring adventures and simultaneously possess an equally strong sense of responsibility.

I am almost 45 years old and being the daughter of a firefighter is still one of the characteristic traits that best describes me. Want some proof? I present to you Exhibit C, the third Kindness Countdown activity inspired by my father's former profession (and I have another coming up in a few weeks).

In summary, old habits die hard.

Because of this, I couldn't help but notice the many fire hydrants still buried in snow while driving my son to school this morning; I instantly knew what this week's KC activity would be.

I armed myself with a shovel and drove around my neighborhood for two hours this morning, digging out fire hydrants that needed some breathing room. 

I noticed the hydrant across the street from my house was, as always, clean as a whistle (thanks, Doug!). But things quickly changed...I turned left out of my driveway and didn't make it three houses before seeing another almost entirely covered.

After working my way through the neighborhood I headed to a home I recently sold. (This realtor doesn't stop caring for her clients and their homes after the deal is done...once you're my client, I'm in it for the long haul. ;) I chopped up some frozen ice left by a plow and cleared two more hydrants on that block. 

(Sidenote: If you know anyone in the Milwaukee area looking to buy or sell a home, I'm your full-service girl!

In total, I made it easier for firefighters (and dogs) to access 10 fire hydrants this morning - before heading to Noodles for some much-deserved macaroni and cheese.

I'm sad to say the number of hydrants I saw needing TLC this morning greatly outnumbered the ones being cared for. And because of that, I'm posting this week's blog early, in hopes of spreading the word on the importance of maintaining a clean perimeter around your block's hydrant.

Fire fighters require three feet of space to work, and it needs to be accessible from the street.

Take a look around your neighborhood and ensure the hydrant nearest your home is operative in an emergency. And then call your loved ones and tell them to do the same. (If a neighbor is already caring for yours, adopt one near an elderly or disabled neighbor...we all know someone who could use a helping hand in the winter.)

The latest statistic shows that it takes only 3-4 minutes for a home to become engulfed in flames (newer homes and the furniture in them burns much faster than they used to...and if your home houses as many books as mine does, well, you get the picture). 

When seconds count, you do not want firefighters to waste valuable time locating and clearing a hydrant. 

You want them to spend their time doing what matters: fighting the fire. 

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