Chelsea looks at ways to improve fire safety

City leaders in Chelsea are looking at ways to enhance fire protection for residents.

The city will soon open bids for the cost of a new project to place almost 90 new fire hydrants in the area. Fire Chief Wayne Shirley said the city hopes the project will further improve service.

&8220;A lot of the community is served by the Westover water system that has lines but no hydrants,&8221; Shirley said. &8220;The city has had me work with Westover to designate how many hydrants are needed and where they can be best placed.&8221;

Shirley said there would be approximately 88 hydrants in all.

Chelsea Mayor Earl Niven said he believes more will still need to be done to fully protect homes and lives.

&8220;I went to the water board meeting and I mentioned that even with the effort the city of Chelsea is doing to try and get better fire protection, without larger lines, it would not give full coverage to all of our people,&8221; said Niven.

&8220;And I requested the water board consider some major improvements to the smaller lines, even if it meant municipalities helping out.&8221;

Currently there are some waterlines in the county that are only two to three inches wide. In order for a fire hydrant to be put in, water lines must be at least six inches in width.

The city also continues agreements with several local communities to coordinate on emergency situations.

Shirley said this allows Chelsea to improve response times by having other departments automatically respond to 9-1-1 calls near their area.

&8220;It&8217;s about helping folks&8217; not about whose city limits&8217; sign you are behind,&8221; Shirley said.