BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - The Bossier City council took emergency action this week after they learned of fire hydrant failures across the city.
The emergency funding will go to a contractor, Utiliserve, who will test and make improvements to the hydrants.
According to representatives of Utiliserve, who spoke at the Bossier City Council Meeting Tuesday, the city has 2,750 fire hydrants.
Out of those, nearly 3,000 hydrants, the hydrants needed to battle the first 3 fires of the year did not work. The first was at 727 Eatman Street on January 11. It happened again at 2136 E. Texas Street on February 1, and once more on February 15 at 12 Chez Moi Drive.
Fire Chief Brad Zagone spoke on the issue as city council members were deciding whether to appropriate $549,758 to extend Utiliserve's contract to take care of the issues.
"It is to fix all of those problems, some of the fire hydrants don't even have caps on them, so if we tie in on the big steamer connection, it doesn't work, water is going to shoot out the sides," Zagone told the council. "Some of the fire hydrants are 40 years old, never been oiled, never been maintained."
Some Bossier City residents are concerned to find out about the fire hydrant failures.
"When you see a fire hydrant, you expect for it to work," said Beverly Matthews, who lives just a few hundred feet away from a fire hydrant. "It is kind of nerve racking to think things like that don't work."
Fire Chief Brad Zagone explained to the council, the first fire of the year on Eatman Street, the hydrant just didn't work.
For the fire off of East Texas in February, firefighters couldn't find the hydrant after the city uprooted it, but never put it back. The third fire in a row with a failed hydrant was on Chez Moi drive, when the equipment could not be connected because of inadequate sizing.
As a result, Zagone asked the council for money so a contractor can maintain and test all city hydrants.
"I'm just glad Bossier is stepping up to the situation and getting the problem solved," said Matthews.
Still, Matthews feels the city waited too long.
"Once you found out one didn't work, you should have gone on and checked the rest of them," she said.
According to a city spokesman, nobody was injured in the fires with the failed fire hydrants and the buildings were not total losses.
All fire hydrants are expected to be inspected by the end of this year.