Town uses grants to install more fire hydrants
by Jack Deming
Nov 15, 2012 | 3098 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Readsboro Fire Department members’ suits give off a reflective glow while they try out a new dry hydrant.
Readsboro Fire Department members’ suits give off a reflective glow while they try out a new dry hydrant.
READSBORO-The town of Readsboro’s fire department took advantage of three grant programs this year, funded by the Vermont Rural Fire Protection Task Force. In its 14th year of funding, the program enables towns to improve fire suppression capabilities in rural communities, through the installation of dry hydrants in brooks, ponds, and other water sources. Through helping communities with their fire-fighting capabilities, the RFP aims to achieve five goals: save lives, enable year-round drafting capabilities while reducing labor for setup time, reduce risk to property, and lower insurance premiums both public and private.

Readsboro used one of the programs, the dry hydrant grant, to install a new hydrant in a brook on Smith Road on South Hill. This grant supplied 75% of the cost of the total project with a 25% match from the town.

For this hydrant, the town supplied approximately $2,300, while the RFP provided $2,500. The new hydrant is capable of pumping out 700 gallons of water per minute. The town used a second grant to install a dry hydrant in a brook on Williams Road in Heartwellville. That hydrant tested at 800 gallons per minute upon completion.

A hydrant damaged by Tropical Storm Irene was paid for in full by a 2012 emergency fund grant for flood- damaged rural water supplies. The project cost $1,250 and repaired the hydrant located on Route 100 at the Lions Club Park along the Deerfield River.

According to Readsboro fire captain David Marchegiani, a longtime veteran of the department, the new hydrants will improve the department’s ability to respond to any fire situation. “Each one is a little bit different, but currently all of our hydrants are installed in brooks. It makes the firefighters’ job easier and quicker, but obviously, and more importantly, it can reduce the risk to property in such a large town.”

Marchegiani said the town has acquired another grant to install a dry hydrant on North Hill, in a yet to be determined location. The town is looking at multiple spots, but the town must gain approval from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, as well as the RFP, before installation. The town has until June 2013 to use the grant and install the hydrant.

All hydrants are tested by the RFP after installation, and the town hopes to continue taking advantage of the grant program in the future by installing up to three more hydrants within the next two years.
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