Leader: Fire hydrants shock

Firefighters remained at the scene until midnight.

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Years ago fire brigade staff used to spend three weeks each year checking road and street hydrants.

They would go round in a Minivan flushing them through, checking that the yellow signs were visible, greasing threads on caps, in the countryside excavating hydrants from grassy banks and trimming them back.

These checks were clearly remembered by one Campbeltown firefighter and by a Mid-Argyll police sergeant, who recalled seeing the van stopped by hydrants.

Last week firefighters attending a serious blaze in flats at Campbeltown found three hydrants ‘seized or inoperable.’ It seems the checks are no longer made.

If this is a budgetery cut it is particularly concerning as it is a matter of everybody’s safety.

Scottish Water which provides the hydrants says it is up to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to identify faulty hydrants before it will fix them.

There is much talk of joined up services and thinking this is a prime example of where such an approach is needed.

Kintyre’s hydrants should be checked as a matter of urgency.