The Manheim Town Council will explore installing dry hydrants throughout the town to assist firefighters in their efforts to combat rural fires.
Dry hydrants are not pressurized like fire hydrants in cities or villages. Most dry hydrants are made of simple PVC pipe and are installed near bodies of water such as ponds, lakes or streams. They allow pumper trucks to draft water and tanker trucks to shuttle water to the fire scene.
“In most areas of the town there is not a pressurized hydrant system. In many cases this requires water to be shuttled from the closest available source, which can make it difficult for firefighters to maintain an uninterrupted water source at the scene,” town Supervisor John Haughton said Tuesday night. “Anything the town can do to assist firefighters in putting out fires is worth exploring.”
“They’re an inexpensive tool and their use can result in a savings of time and on wear and tear on vehicles,” said Herkimer County Director of Emergency Services Robert Vandawalker.
Vandawalker said the state Department of Environmental Conservation or the Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District could assist the town in selecting suitable locations for dry hydrants.
“They can help determine the flow of water, which is important to consider when installing a dry hydrant,” he said. “Fire departments want to know they have access to the water supply year round.”
In addition to installing dry hydrants, Haughton said the town is interested in meeting with the fire departments it contracts with to discuss changing the current fire district boundary lines.
“There are boundary lines that split a road right down the middle, which is not an ideal way to establish a district, and the town would like to explore changing that,” said Haughton.
Vandawalker said he would also be present for the discussions, as the county would need to be made aware of the new boundary lines due to the need to assign electronic serial numbers.
“Each residence is assigned a specific number which tells the 911 center what fire department, ambulance service or police department to dispatch,” he said. “If a boundary line is changed then that number could potentially change, which is why I would like to be part of the discussions.”
In other business Tuesday night, town Highway Superintendent Carl Stallman said his department’s new 2012 Ford F350 would be ready for delivery in 70 to 90 days.
•The town council unanimously passed a resolution to establish a shared services agreement for highway department equipment and vehicles.
•Haughton said the next planning meeting for the third annual Family Farm Day will take place on Monday, April 30, at 6 p.m. at Raycliff Farm on Snells Bush Road.