Guilford County firefighters want more fire hydrants

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Using tanker trucks and collapsible pools, firefighters with the Pinecroft-Sedgefield Fire Department practiced hauling water off Vickrey Chapel Road Friday.

“The guys on the end of the hose lines aren’t any good unless there’s water coming out," Division Chief Brandon Cobb said.

Right now, only about half the district has quick access to fire hydrants. Fire officials say there are currently about 38,000 people in the district.

“We definitely have to bolster our response, and it’s tough. We depend on our neighbors, and we depend on what we call mutual aid,” Cobb said. “Because we do have to put extra personnel and equipment on the road to make sure we keep the water flowing.”

Chief Steve Allred said in 2019 that the department tried to add six hydrants about a mile apart near NC 62. The projected $80,000 cost to tap into the waterline halted construction.

“We see our calls increase every year, and we do have more and more calls like this and we have to train like this to provide good service,” Cobb said.

Ken Roberson lives off Kivett Drive, and said he wasn’t aware about the lack of hydrants.

“Being so close to the fire station, I thought we had plenty of water,” Roberson said.

While he doesn’t worry about access to water, he said having a nearby hydrant would add to his peace of mind.

“I would welcome it. Anything that would help us feel safer in case there is a fire,” Roberson said.

Allred said they are looking for another way to add access points in the district. There is no current timeline for another project.

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