Car Dealerships Have Been Digging Out All Winter

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Fire departments on Long Island are urging residents to clear snow from around fire hydrants.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, seconds count when firefighters are battling a blaze.

Fire officials said the last thing the responding firefighters need to do is get out the shovels to uncover a hydrant.

“Finding that fire hydrant quickly a key to firefighters being able to save lives and property. The fire engines themselves only have a small amount of water inside that vehicle. So hooking up to a hydrant and finding a water supply is crucial,” Nassau County Fire Marshal Vincent McManus told Hall. “When that’s delayed, things go bad very quickly at a fire scene.”

McManus added that digging out the hydrants also helps to keep them from getting too cold.

“We also have the problem of the hydrants themselves in some cases freezing. So it’s not only finding it but hoping that that particular fire hydrant is going to work. So the time that’s spent looking for one if it’s buried could make the difference in saving a life,” he told Hall.

While residents have to shovel out their car, driveway, walkway and maybe a fire hydrant, car dealerships have had to dig out hundreds of cars after every snowstorm.

At Smithtown Toyota, car dealers like Lou DiFilipo have been armed with shovels all winter.

“It’s a lot of work. You gotta prep the day before. We gotta move the inventory around to get the lot clear, then we come in with the plows, move the trucks. Sometimes we even gotta haul the snow away and then get the inventory back in line and brushed off so we can sell cars,” DiFilipo told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs. “Everyone pitches in, even the bosses, management. Everyone’s here clearing off snow.”

He added most people at the dealership are hoping for an early spring.

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