Adopt a Fire Hydrant – When seconds count, access to a fire hydrant is vital


The Sycamore Fire Department would like to remind residents about the importance of clear and visible fire hydrants; especially during winter months. While it has been a mild start to the winter season, the potential for heavy snowfall still lurks. The Sycamore Fire Department is asking for your partnership in their Adopt-A- Hydrant program by looking after a fire hydrant close to your home or business and keeping it free of snow during the winter and free of weeds and shrubbery in the summer.

In the event of a fire, it is imperative that firefighters gain access to a water supply via
fire hydrant as quickly as possible so fire can be extinguished without the loss of life and/or
property. They ask that you assist the fire department by shoveling at least 3 feet around the hydrant each time you shovel your driveway. They also request that you shovel a path from the hydrant to the street, making it more visible and easier to access.

Please consider clearing snow from a fire hydrant for your neighbors who may have
medical conditions, disabilities, or those who are elderly and may be unable to clear the snow themselves. Not only will clearing a fire hydrant be beneficial for your family, but it could be advantageous for any home or business in your neighborhood. Your participation in this program will be greatly appreciated by the Sycamore Fire Department and the community it serves.

If you notice that a fire hydrant has been damaged, is missing caps, leaking water or is
not accessible please notify the Sycamore Fire Department by calling (815) 895-4514.
For more information on the Adopt-A- Hydrant program, please contact the Sycamore
Fire Department at (815)895-4514 or visit them on Facebook at City of Sycamore Fire Department for occasional postings.


  1. In climates with freezing temps, such as ours, we use dry barrels hydrants to prevent freezing. Unfortunately with below zero temperatures we cannot prevent ALL hydrants from freezing, but by not shoveling out the hydrants it slows fire fighting efforts. It could take a few minutes to shovel out a hydrant which doesn’t sound like much, but present days fires double in size every 30 seconds. Most first out engines have 3 firefighters, 4 if you’re lucky. When they arrive the lieutenant needs to do a 360 of a building to see what they are up against and to determine possibly egress options. The backstep firefighter will be pulling the first line and getting it into place. This only leaves the driver who not only has to position their apparatus, but also get a positive water supply.. ie: tag a hydrant or inform the incident commander to get a tanker operation into play if tagging a hydrant isn’t possible. The first 5-10 minutes of a fire incident determines how the rest of the call will play out. I will always shovel the hydrant out in front of my house because the first few minutes could be the difference between my house still standing and being down on the ground.

  2. So, Sycamore Fire Department, you are aware in the recent weather we had, that uncovering the hydrants would have, in fact, made them freeze and unusable, and that snow is a very good insulator? Perhaps you should be putting flags on them so the fire department knows where they are, and can dig them out themselves, so they do not clog with ice when the temps drop into the teens.

    • Eian the hydrant directly in front of Wendy’s, the initial supply, was not frozen. Additional hydrant were used to supply other apparatus on scene. As you’ll see above, dry barrel hydrants would not benefit from being “insulated”, as valves for the hydrants lie below the frost line. Shoveling around a hydrant will save the initial companies a great deal of time and help in their efforts.

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