Re the Aug. 16 editorial, "Big duh: Don't block fire hydrants":
Here is a possible solution to the mother of no-brainers. In the technological world we live in there are probably several ways to address the "hidden" fire hydrants, but first a look at the cause and affect of the problem.
There are many a yard in various neighborhoods that have obscured hydrants. Most of these are situated right in the middle of the yard, and the homeowners probably feel they are an eyesore or, more simply, take away from the presentation of their homes.
A quick glance through my neighborhood indicates those hydrants in the middle of the front yards are indeed surrounded by some kind shrubbery. But, interestingly, the hydrants located on or near property lines are left unobscured.
Coincidence? I doubt it. Look through your neighborhood and count how many light poles, cable boxes, phone boxes, GPC transformers, etc. are located in the middle of yards. Somehow, the design engineers figured out the best placement isn't directly in front of the house. Did the county fire engineers not get invited to the planning meeting?
Now, I realize there are certain codes that dictate distances between hydrants and other specifics that determine their location. But the true no-brainer is to work within those guidelines and put the hydrants on or near property lines where they will likely remain unobscured.
I realize the county isn't going to undertake an effort to move hydrants out of front yards. The placement on or near property lines should be a "from this point forward" policy for new neighborhoods.
Now, back to technology and how it can address the "hidden" hydrants. I am confident the county has maps that show hydrant locations on every street in every neighborhood. The county also has maps of every street in every neighborhood that shows addresses. Combine these two maps and the information provided will be an exact location via street address for each hydrant. Now, it is general knowledge that when a 911 call comes in, the address and other pertinent information is displayed for the dispatcher. In the event of a fire, as the trucks and crews are rolling, they know the street address, they know odd-numbered houses are on one side of the street and even-numbered are on the other side.
Here's where the online "maps" come into the picture. The dispatcher pulls up a map and forwards hydrant location by street address to the respondents. If they can find the address with the fire, it's just a matter of counting up or down the street to find the hydrant - with or without bushes.
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