By Reg Chapman


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Hastings Fire Department is looking for residents to help them save lives, and some students are stepping up to the challenge.

The fire department partnered with the city of Hastings and local insurance agents to give prizes to people who help clear a path around the town’s fire hydrants.

Some Kennedy Elementary students are Hydrant Heroes in the city of Hastings.

(credit: CBS)

“It feels good to help out with the fire department and everything,” 3rd grader Nate Adricula.

Adricula and 4th grader Trent Nassen were two of the first to get involved with the Hydrant Hero project.

“So, I went to hockey my Mom bought shovels and my snow pants and we went out and did six fire hydrants,” Nassen said.

A record-breaking snowfall covered the 1,200 fire hydrants in the city of Hastings.

“We did a timing situation here just a couple of weeks ago where hooking up to a hydrant that is buried in snow took an additional five and a half minutes for a firefighter to hand dig out a hydrant,” Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt said.

Schutt says his crews needed help clearing the snow away, so the Hydrant Heroes program was developed. It’s a contest where Hastings residents clear out a Hydrant, snap a picture of the finished project and submit that picture via social media to the city.

Names are put into a fire hat and the winner gets a gift card from a business in Hastings.

“I thought it was a super fun way to get community help to protect all of us,” Danielle Menge said.

Local insurance agents like Menge purchased gift cards from area businesses to give to the winners.

“It was pretty hard because it was pretty high, so I had to get the shovel straight down into the snow,” Adricula said.

Clearing three feet around the hydrant and a path out to the street is not just for kids. Trent and Nate hope more grownups take part in all the fun.

“It feels good because we are not just helping our street, but I’m helping the whole town,” Nassen said.

With more snow forecasted for the weekend, the city of Hastings is looking for additional Hydrant Heroes. Check the city of Hastings Facebook page on how you can help.

Reg Chapman

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