PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- We all know how awful shoveling is after a big storm, but imagine having to shovel over 100 fire hydrants with just two other people.
That's what members of the Portland Fire Department are faced with each storm. The city has about 1,600 hydrants they're responsible for digging out, which means each fire truck or ambulance with a crew of just three is assigned about 120 hydrants each.
It can take the department up to 3 days after a storm to clear all of the hydrants, especially if plows are out for a few days blocking a once-cleared hydrants back in again.
There is a program called "Adopt A Hydrant" in which towns and cities ask their residents to clear out the hydrant near them. That helps these crews that are out doing back-breaking work while still responding to rescue and fire calls.
There's no need to sign up for a hydrant, but departments ask if you do clear one, to shovel at least 3 feet of space all around it to allow plenty of space for a hose to be attached without kinking.