Shovelers and plowers: Don't bury fire hydrants

Shovelers and plowers: Don't bury fire hydrants
I'm writing this letter today regarding the fire hydrants being buried from the recent snow fall of Christmas day.
In my travels to various shopping plazas in the area I have noticed two things: A) fire hydrants being buried by residents shoveling their driveways and sidewalks, and B) contractors burying hydrants while plowing parking lots at our shopping areas.
We all have to keep in mind that fire hydrants are placed in key areas so that our local fire departments can tie into them for additional water to aid them in saving lives and reducing fire damage. The water carried in fire trucks today only last for about 2-3 minutes, which means hydrants are needed for the additional supply of water.
One of the worst nightmares a firefighter can have is to pull up to a "working structure fire" and find the hydrant they need is buried with snow. Time is a very important factor in firefighting, the longer it takes a firefighter to dig out a buried hydrant, or find one that is not, the greater the chances of not being able to perform a proper entry with a charged line for rescue and knock down. The firefighter's job is very stressful, let's not compound their headaches by taking away one of the key tools needed for effective and speedy fire suppression.
The supply line that is laid into the trucks need to be as straight as possible and free of kinks in order to use every drop of water that hydrant can supply. Ample space needs to be given around and in front of any hydrant. So the next time we clean our driveways and walkways, and the next time you contractors plow the many shopping areas parking lots, look around and see where the various fire hydrants may be located.
Just remember the extra time one takes now to keep these vital firefighting tools open and clear, the better it will be for our firefighters, neighbors, and our shopping plaza owners in the early stages of any fire emergency. Help our firefighters so they can help us in our time of need. I speak these words from experience.
X The writer is a former Boardman volunteer firefighter
What's happened to U.S. under President Bush?
I have been observing our national policies with great interest. I do not approve of the course of action that the present administration has been pursuing politically and economically. I feel President Bush and the Skipper of the Valdez oil tanker have much in common. They have both taken rash courses of action.
When President George W. Bush took over at the helm as our country's leader he inherited a robust economy. Our nation enjoyed the first fiscal surpluses in more than 30 years. The unemployment figures were at historical lows. Large companies were sending their representatives to the universities to recruit students who were about to graduate to come work in lucrative positions in their respective companies.
Today many of the brightest graduates are flipping hamburgers. In fact MacDonalds has just posted its first financial losses in the company's history. Blue chip companies are on the brink of disaster. A question occurs in the minds of many. Is this the reason war is imminent? To bolster the economy? Chairman Greenspan has done his very best to shore up the economy by lowering interest rates to unheard of low rates! It has helped the housing market.
Today, largely due to the president's saber rattling policies he has distanced many of our former allies away from us. Colin Powell has done his utmost to smooth over remarks made by the administration. If it were not for Prime Minister Tony Blair we would have been alienated from the United Kingdom. Tony Blair has put his personal career on the line since an alarming number of British subjects are opposed to their prime minister's support of the Bush agenda.
If President Bush decides to wage war against Iraq contrary to the sanctions of the United Nations Security Council, I shudder to think of the consequences. It would not be a replication of Desert Storm where the enemy could be observed from horizon to horizon in the open desert. A war in the cities would be a very costly undertaking both in the lives of our service personnel and civilian casualties as well. Door to door warfare is extremely hazardous. It would not bode well in the court of public opinion.
If the U.N. weapons inspectors should stumble upon the "smoking gun," that could justify President Bush's order to wage war with Iraq.

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