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Playing with Fire

Fire department officials in Belfair, Wash., are upset with the local water district: officials there ordered padlocks put on all fire hydrants. They didn’t bother to tell firefighters of the move, nor did they provide keys to the locks. Belfair Water District Manager Dave Tipton says he doesn’t understand firefighters’ concerns. “We’re trying to protect our resource,” he said, noting that the water district loses 8-10 percent of its water to leaks and thefts, and that he has even been “driving around at night trying to catch somebody,” apparently with no success. “Any significant amount of time [waiting for a water district official to come unlock a hydrant] can have a disastrous outcome on an emergency situation,” said Fire Chief Beau Bakken, noting the fire department has solved the problem by buying bolt cutters to cut the locks off. (RC/Kitsap Sun) ...Except the chief has ordered his men to never cut the lock on the hydrant by Tipton’s house.
Original Publication Date: 08 August 2010
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 17.
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