Pa. city uses state grant to upgrade hydrants for faster connection
The new connections will allow firefighter to more quickly attach hoses to hydrants and standardizes connections among communities
By Bill Wellock
The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. — Chief Frank Slymock had one last fire hydrant to change before all the hydrants in town were upgraded.
Under a hot sun Monday afternoon, Slymock and another firefighter removed the old cap from the large nozzle on the side of the hydrant — known as a “steamer” — and installed a new 5-inch Storz connection.
With that, the department had upgraded about 90 hydrants around town with the new connections, some of more than 1,000 that will be upgraded thanks to a $136,560 Local Share Account grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.
Pringle Borough applied for funding to install the 5-inch Storz connections on 1,060 hydrants in 12 municipalities: Courtdale, Edwardsville, Exeter, Forty Fort, Kingston, Larksville, Luzerne, Plymouth, Plymouth Twp., Pringle, West Wyoming and Wyoming, according to DCED.
The new connections allow firefighters to more quickly attach hoses to hydrants and it standardizes connections among West Side communities, Slymock said. Previously, Edwardsville and other municipalities had 4.5-inch steamer connections, but some towns had 4-inch connections. If a department went to assist in one of those towns with a fire, it needed to use an adapter or a smaller connection on the side of a hydrant.
The new connections also get rid of some old equipment that may not have been used in years. In some cases, Edwardsville firefighters needed to use a hammer to loosen the steamer cap before replacing it with the new Storz nozzle.
The connections don’t use threading to make a link between hydrant and hose. Instead gaskets make the link that allows water to flow where fighters need it.
“It simplifies everybody’s work. It’s one size fits all,” Slymock said.
©2019 The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)