(Fire)man’s Best Friend
This winter, we’re launching the Adopt-A-Hydrant program, a first-of-its-kind effort, where residents can volunteer to keep hydrants in their neighborhood accessible to firefighters after snowstorms. By keeping hydrants free of snow, volunteers will help firefighters respond to a fire emergency more quickly, when every second counts. Last year, the Department responded to 5,653 fires.
To adopt one of Boston’s 13,000+ public hydrants, go to http://boston.adoptahydrant.org. Once you sign in, you can choose and name – the hydrant(s) you would like to volunteer to shovel out. You will receive a confirmation email with your hydrant location(s) and shoveling tips as well as friendly reminders when snowstorms hit.
The Adopt-A-Hydrant application was developed by Erik Michaels-Ober, a Code for America fellow, who served with the City of Boston in 2011. The City is piloting the application this year. If successful, the City will explore how this application could be used to encourage adoption of other streetscape features, such as trees. The app also is available for other places to use and, todate, three cities – Chicago, Honolulu, and Buenos Aires – already have expressed an interest in adapting it for use by their residents.