Town Diary - November 2003
Barkhamsted Fire Department Dry Hydrant Program
The photos below show examples of the new dry hydrants installed last year to augment the progressive fire fighting water supply for our town. These new standpipe, of which there are thirteen, were installed with the help of federal matching funds via the State Department of Environmental Protection Forestry Division. Local residents and State Forest Protection Program Specialist Ralph Scarpino helped with the approval of the sites.
The town's elected Fire Commissioners provided $20,000 of front money for the program, not all of which was needed when coupled with the federal grant money. The cost per installation ranged from $500 to $4,000 and the 50% matching funds paid by the Forestry Division was good up to a $1,000 maximum.
The paperwork involved in this program was extensive and required grant applications and inland wetland permits for each site. The town's three fire chiefs signed the grant application and Fire District President Richard Winn signed all the permit applications. Marquam Johnson, Barkhamsted's only fulltime fireman, was responsible for filling out the applications and also worked at the sites installing the standpipes.
Scott Hoskins, of the Hoskins Excavating and Trucking Company, was a highly skilled backhoe operator who dug the trenches, most times under water and out of sight, to place the PVC pipe. Town highway crew and equipment helped in the joining and covering of the six and eight inch PVC pipe and strainer.
Whereas none of the new standpipes has been used to directly fight a structure fire, they have been used to refill pump and tanker trucks on several occasions, and are used for training drills regularly. The thirteen dry hydrants significantly increases the fire protection resources in Barkhamsted by improving water accessibility and reducing refill time during emergencies.
Photos above- two of the thirteen dry hydrants installed at pond and stream sites throughout Barkhamsted. The photo on the left is near the intersection of Route 219 and Ratlum Road.
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