Merrill Fire Department recruiting residents to dig out fire hydrants

MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) The Merrill Fire Department is asking residents to help them dig out snow-covered fire hydrants next weekend.

With more than three feet of snow falling across central Wisconsin in February so far and more snow on the way this weekend, firefighters are concerned they will have a hard time finding fire hydrants and will then have to spend valuable time digging them out at the scene of a fire.

Merrill has used an "Adopt-a-Hydrant" program with residents who live near fire hydrants. The program has had some success with residents volunteering to clear the hydrants year-round, but not all hydrants have been adopted.

Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 2 and again at Noon on Sunday, March 3 volunteers are asked to join firefighters at the Merrill Fire Station at 110 Pier Street. Groups will then go out into the city and dig out and dig out as many fire hydrants as they can.

Volunteers are asked to bring their own shovels and be ready to shovel for about two hours on either day.

"It is our hope that we can get as many heroes as possible on that first weekend in March," said Merrill Fire Chief Josh Klug in a press release. "Knowing the Merrill community well, I'd be surprised if we don't have several organizations, some Scout troops and several sports teams to rally and help along with many individuals looking to lend a hand to their friends and neighbors!"

If you know of a Merrill fire hydrant that needs to be dug out, residents are asked to call 715-536-2233 to give firefighters a heads up.