Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Before the snow hit last fall, I was eyewitness to the crash, which caused the fire hydrant to leak in front of Shelly’s Deli (now Southside Deli) at the intersection of Glenbrook Road and Woodside Blvd. I immediately called 911 and as requested by Officer Davis of the Hailey Police Department, provided a written account of my observations by the next morning. The Fire / Water Department put this Hydrant out of service and it has been unusable ever since.

This spring at Southside Deli, I crossed paths with a couple of the fine members of the Wood River Fire Department, where those of us enjoying a hot breakfast inquired about this dilemma and requested the phone number for the hydrant’s responsible party. The EMT’s pointed out that the hydrant near Woodside R.V. is also out of service and that if there were ever a fire in this area, it would be a hard one to battle.

To follow up on this, I called the number, which the EMT’s gave me and spoke with Robbin, to make sure this important need had not fallen through the cracks. She said that this hydrant was still on the list for repair, that the crews have been waiting for spring for things to warm up and should be getting out there soon to complete the work. However, now another month has gone by -including fire-prevention week- and we here in this lower Woodside area are still are stuck with substandard fire protection status. Recently when members of our community here pointed out to the Hailey Post Office that their mailbox here was also off its moorings, they fashioned a new box and bolted it down professionally within one week of our request.

Undoubtedly, the Hailey Street and Fire departments have experienced a demanding winter with snow removal, employee turnover, etc. As a former supervisor of a fire hydrant repair crew (back east), I empathize with these challenges. Yet by the same standard, I am a bit dismayed that these repairs are taking so long, as it was rare for us at the City of Falls Church, Virginia water department to have a hydrant out of service for more than one week. Taken in context with some other recent disharmonic occurrences within your departments, I can’t help but wonder if these slow hydrant repairs are the manifestation of some deeper problems within our municipality.

Meanwhile we in the lower Woodside community are looking forward to a full return of our fire protection, via timely hydrant repairs.



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