Residents of all ages can become a ‘hydrant hero’ this winter

(An Ottawa Firefighter is pictured being able to freely open a fire hydrant thanks to the snow being cleared. Photos submitted by Ottawa Fire Service)

The Ottawa Fire Services, along with the City of Ottawa Water Services Department, are encouraging residents of all ages to be a “Hydrant Hero” this winter by keeping your local hydrant clear of snow. Clearing 1.5 metres around a hydrant maintains access for firefighters and helps them keep you, your family and your community safe.

(A community Hydrant Hero certificate will be sent to your kids when they register.)

Parents can present their kids with an official “Hydrant Hero” certificate by filling out the form. Also, students can request confirmation of their community involvement hours by contacting

A fire truck will run out of the initial water inside the truck within approximately three minutes. Attaching to a hydrant needs to be fast to keep feeding the truck with water to fight a fire. Every second wasted shovelling out a hydrant is valuable time that could drastically impact the outcome of the fire.


Description automatically generated Click here to watch a video of the time it takes for Firefighters to clear a hydrant covered in snow.

Does being a “Hydrant Hero” make a difference?

Meet Jennifer Olsen. On January 20th, during the city’s extreme cold spell, Ottawa Fire responded to a large residential fire in the early morning on Highpark Crescent in Blackburn Hamlet. One of our ladder truck operators had to attach to a hydrant one street over on Westpark Drive and lay 700 feet of hose in the process. When the operator showed up, the hydrant was completely clear of snow. The Lieutenant in charge of the ladder truck said: “You have no idea how much of a difference this makes for us and especially for the outcome of the fire!” Thank you, Jennifer, for making a difference that morning!

(Jennifer Olsen a ‘hydrant hero’ keeps the hydrant clear of snow near her home in Blackburn Hamlet.)

Tag Ottawa Fire on social media for a chance to have your certificate personally delivered by Firefighters!

If your child likes Fire Trucks and Firefighters, this is your chance to have them come right to your front door. All you have to do is take a picture of your child clearing out a fire hydrant and tag @OttFire on Twitter or @OttFireIncendie on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #HydrantHero.

Three lucky children will be picked and will be contacted to set up to have their certificate personally delivered by some of Ottawa’s Firefighters.

Be a “Hydrant Hero” this winter and keep the hydrants near your house clear of any snow!


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