Being Smart During the Winter Season
As snow is a familiar headache to Maine, we the Auburn Firefighters want to remind the citizens to take some extra precautions during this snowy season.
We ask citizens to clear snow from fire hydrants that are near their homes. There are hundreds of hydrants that the Auburn Water Department takes care of, and it is possible for them to miss a hydrant during one of our many storms. Clearing the snow at least 36’’ around the hydrant will allow the fire department to locate and use the hydrants quickly. Time is of the essence, and taking a few extra minutes after a storm could save you and/or your neighbor during a fire.
The fire department not only responds to fires but medical emergencies. We encourage citizens to keep their driveways and walkways clear of snow, ice and other obstructions. This allows us to gain entry to the building and provide the needed medical attention to the patient faster. Also, it allows us to use our equipment such as a stretcher or stair chair safely for the patient and emergency personnel.
Another great habit, is to keep clear at least one other exit from your house at all times. This provides the occupants of the building to have at least two means of egress from the building in case of a fire or other emergency. No one wants to be trapped in their home during a fire and you cannot predict when or where the origin of the fire will begin. Clearing walkways and driveways allows us to go to work faster and safer which will benefit everyone.
Snow creates two major issues for the fire department. One is that the snow limits our abilities to see building and mailbox address numbers. This can be fixed by properly posting your 911 address on the house and numbering your mailbox from both directions. Auburn has three stations so depending on your address trucks will be arriving at your location from different directions. Make sure that your mailbox is numbered on both sides in large reflective numbers. Numbering your mailbox post with your address works great during the summer months but as winter months slowly pass the snow banks grow, blocking the numbers.
The other major issue that the fire department encounters during the winter months is the snow generates a larger driving hazard for us. We ask citizens to pull over to the right and stop, as required by law. Fire trucks are large and sometimes the snow banks are not always pushed back far enough from the roads, narrowing the width of the streets. Our job is to respond in a safe and efficient manor to someone’s emergency, so we ask for your assistance in doing so. Pulling over to the right and stopping allows us to maneuver our emergency vehicles in a safe manner. It gives the operators of these vehicles a larger traveling lane making it safer for everyone. You never know who we are responding to, it may be your family member, a loved one or a close friend.
We thank the citizens of Auburn for helping us during the cold and harsh winter months in Maine.