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By Dick Lidsay, Berkshire Eagle
In Adams, more than 20 members of the Hoosac Valley High School football and boy's basketball teams, accompanied by 15 parents and the teams' head coaches fanned out across the town digging out 250 of the town's nearly 400 fire hydrants that were partially or completely buried from this months winter storms.
The idea for the work crew came from the football and basketball booster parents who read about the fatal fire earlier in the week and thought that they could do something to help give back to the community that often supports their efforts.
While a snow-covered hydrant didn't impede firefighting efforts in last week's deadly blaze on West Street, Adams Assistant Fire Chief John Pansecchi said it brought attention the need to have a clear path to hydrants.
"That fire we had required a firefighter five minutes to shovel out a hydrant — five minutes not working on the fire," he said. "We plan ahead, with several guys carrying snow shovels just in case."
The team members spent approximately 3 hours shoveling out the town's hydrants. The toughest part of the job?
"You had to get behind some of them and chop away at the ice," said Hoosac Valley freshman Adam Bush.
Freshman Matt Hall was told by Adams fire officials it's also important to have plenty of room for firefighters to hook up the hoses.
"They need to have a path all the way around [the hydrant,]" he said.