Ocean Springs Fire Dept. conducts hydrant safety checks

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs residents will see lots of water gushing out of fire hydrants in their neighborhoods this month.

The annual city-wide fire hydrant inspection is underway. The Mississippi State Rating Bureau requires that all 750 hydrants in the city be tested for flow, pressure, and leaks.

Fire Chief Jeffery Ponson said his team is inspecting every hydrant to make sure it's in excellent condition.

"We check to make sure the valves are functioning properly, and we grease them and all that to make sure they don't get rusty," Chief Ponson said.

Wayne Emile is part of the hydrant inspection team. He said firefighters are also paying close attention to the system's water supply.

"The water source is the main part of fighting fires, and we definitely need to make sure we have our source," Emile said.

Firefighters admit they've found a few hydrants that were flawed.

"We have had some hydrants that are hard to open, and we are going to have a service crew come out and fix," Emile said.

The fire hydrant test only takes about 10 minutes. Fire officials said the results will hopefully save homes and lives in Ocean Springs.

"Our fire trucks only carry so much water. When a fire happens, and if we get a call to their house, we have to have an unlimited supply of water, so that if their house is on fire we can put it out."

Chief Ponson said having working fire hydrants could possibly improve the city's fire rating, and decrease citizens' insurance bills.

"The fire rating goes from one to ten. And currently, the City of Ocean Springs is a six. It helps homeowners with their insurance cost, fire insurance. Every little bit will help."

Firefighters said citizens may experience a disruption in their water service for a short time during the hydrant tests this month.

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