City getting fire hydrant improvements

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Indiana American Water has announced a $375,000 plan to retrofit nearly all of the community’s fire hydrants with Storz quick-connect hydrant nozzles. Storz connectors allow firefighters to connect to hydrants with a quick, quarter turn action, enhancing firefighter response times in comparison to traditional threaded couplings.

“This investment by Indiana American Water to upgrade nearly all of our fire hydrants to accept Storz-type connectors represents a quantum leap forward for fire safety and response times for our firefighters,” said Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear. “The installation of these connectors throughout the community has been a top priority for me and our firefighters for some time. These enhancements will save precious seconds in critical fire situations and help us to be more effective when it really counts.”

Noblesville Fire Chief Ken Gilliam is also enthusiastic about the company’s plans.

“Experience has shown that fires can double in size every 30 to 60 seconds,” he said. “These connectors make our job of getting water running through hoses and onto fires much easier and quicker. There is no doubt in my mind that it will ultimately result in fewer lives lost, a reduction in fire-related injuries and trauma, and less property damage related to fires in the Noblesville area.”

Storz is a type of hose coupling that uses interlocking hooks and flanges. It is widely used in firefighting applications. To couple a Storz connection, the two opposing couplings are pressed together and rotated in opposite directions until they are tight, or until the latches engage.

Approximately 560 hydrants in the Noblesville area are already equipped with Storz connectors, primarily on hydrants installed by developers in the last nine years. The city passed an ordinance in 2003 specifying that Storz connectors must be included on all new hydrant installations within the city.

“We’re pleased to be able to work with Mayor Ditslear and Chief Gilliam to make this investment in the Noblesville area,” said Bruce Hauk, vice president of operations for Indiana American Water. “One of the most important services we provide to the communities we serve across the state is superior firefighting capabilities to the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect our families, homes and businesses. Anything we can do to help them is a prudent investment.”

Indiana American Water will be installing approximately 975 additional Storz connectors to fire hydrants in the Noblesville area. As these fire hydrants are being retrofitted, the company will also be cleaning and painting fire hydrants throughout the Noblesville area. The project will be completed by the end of August. Indiana American Water’s Noblesville District has approximately 14,280 customer connections.

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