Fire Co. needs help clearing hydrants

By on February 7, 2014

School closings and delays, dozens of accidents on slick roadways, and now the local newspaper is going to press 12 hours earlier than usual in preparation of the pending ice storm.

It seems like the weather isn’t permitting much of anything, other than disruption to our normal routines.

Due to the approaching storm expected to coat the region with enough ice to drop power lines, the Record Express went to press at 8 p.m. Tuesday night. This follows a Monday in which seven and a half inches of heavy snow prevented a third of our editorial staff from making it to the newsroom. Thus, the final issue of our paper in its current format will be memorable. Starting next week, readers will see a sleek, full color local newspaper with enhanced content. Coupled with our new delivery system, this redesign, the first of this magnitude since the Record and Express merged in 1937, is a milestone for our community.

To kick off the celebration, our editorial staff will be in Lititz Springs Park Feb. 14, 5-9 p.m., for Fire & Ice. Check out our illuminated ice sculpture near the park refreshment stand, where there will be tons of activity, including a pavilion coffee house, music and a variety of vendors. We’ll be handing out a limited number of collectable “first editions” and collecting canned goods and non-perishables for the local food bank. Bring a can of peas to our ice sculpture, grab a copy of the new Lititz Record Express, and help pack the shelves at the Community Chest. And you’ll want to hold onto your new Record Express all weekend as it will serve as a program guide to all of the Fire & Ice events, Friday night through Sunday. Weather permitting, of course.

Early forecasts show more storms on the horizon, but it’s too early to tell how severe they may be.

Tuesday morning, Lititz Fire Chief Ron Oettel contacted the Record Express news room to ask the entire community for help.

Since December, more than 40 inches of snow has fallen in Lancaster County. That means fire hydrants can be hard to find during an emergency. He is asking residents and businesses to work together to make sure all borough fire hydrants are cleared of snow and easily accessible to volunteer firefighters.

“Some are really difficult to get to,” said Oettel, “especially in this heavy snow. And in those cases, we’re not going to get those hydrants open as quickly as we would like.”

He refers to the old saying, “Many hands make the workload light.”

Let’s pitch in, people.

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