New Hydrants Will Help Save Lives In Gulf Park Estates

Chief Marshal Robinson works for the Gulf Park Estates/St. Andrews Volunteer Fire Department. He says while he loves the thrill of fighting fires and saving lives, the lack of hydrants in the area makes his job pretty tough.

"It's beginning to be a headache, and logistical nightmares," Chief Robinson said.

Whenever there is a fire in Gulf Park Estates or St. Andrews, Robinson and his crew have to travel miles for a reliable water source.

The fire hydrant at Ocean Springs Middle School, Robinson says, is too far away for some of the neighborhoods he must protect.

"When you are working on rural roads, that five or six miles can turn into 10, 15, and 20 minutes. It in turn could mean the difference between a small or a considerable loss, and unfortunately it could turn into a loss of life," Robinson Said.

Now the firefighters can say good-bye to those long trips because of a new hydrant connected to Simmons Bayou.

"It's a dry hydrant, it is dry until you hook a pump to it and suck the water out," Supervisor John McKay said.

McKay helped secure grant money to pay for the hydrant.

"Across the bayou, an apartment complex burned down a year ago, because we had to truck water down from the middle school."

Neighbors like Charles Osterman welcome the added security.

"I think it will be a plus, and I hope it will help our insurance rates," Osterman said.

Firefighters say the biggest benefit is just knowing they will be able to better protect the community they serve.

Supervisor McKay says more hydrants are planned for the rural areas of Jackson County, to help fire fighters save lives.