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August 18, 2004

Contact: Ian Michaels (718) 595-6600

DEP Commissioner Hosts Award Ceremony Honoring Students for Participating in Fire Hydrant Safety Education Program

“There are better ways to keep COOL”


Thank you to New York City summer camp students who participated in DEP’s summer fire hydrant safety education program

Date/Time: Thursday, August 19, 2004 at 12:30 pm
West 173 rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue , Manhattan

Location: Highbridge Recreation Center


DEP Commissioner Christopher O. Ward;
Department of Parks and Recreation Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro;
Representatives of New York City Fire Department, Police Athletic League (PAL) and Alianza Dominicana summer camp programs;
120 Students attending PAL and Alianza Dominicana summer program – ranging in age from 5 to 11 years.

Background: The108,000 fire hydrants across the city play an important role in keeping our City safe, particularly during the hot summer months. They must always be available to ensure that firefighters have adequate pressure when fighting fires; if hydrants are opened illegally they can waste thousands of gallons of city water, and they can also be a danger if a child runs into a hydrant stream running at full force.

In the summer of 2004 DEP selected Washington Heights , in upper Manhattan , as the focus of a fire hydrant education campaign. DEP staff members provided on site explanations of how fire hydrants work; using both street hydrants and a model of a hydrant. Students were introduced to the use of special spray caps that attach to hydrants and reduce the shower spray for recreational use on hot days without wasting water, and how illegal opening of hydrants can waste thousands of gallons of water. The students were also given an opportunity to beautify their neighborhood by painting old fire hydrants. The Parks Department allowed the students to use the Highbridge Recreation Center for the special programs and also gave them a tour of the Highbridge water tower.

Additionally, a design competiton was created. Using graphics and slogans that would educate other children about the importance of water conservation and hydrant safety, the children created special flyers. Winners have been selected and their designs will be used in a future hydrant campaign flyer. Commissioner Ward will present the competition winners with a certificate and a DEP T – shirt. The Fire Department representative will also thank the students.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600