MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — Outside Lakeview Arena in Marquette, you may notice a group of hockey players rummaging around in the snow.
They’re not playing. They’re just being good citizens.
“Our Peewee hockey team is shoveling the fire hydrants to help the community just in case there is a fire. They can get to the fire hydrants easily,” Olivia Stade, Player, Junior Wildcats, Peewee A-Team.
Coach Mark Janofski, a former volunteer firefighter, noticed that fire hydrants around Marquette were covered in snow & ice, making them inaccessible, so he got his team to make a difference.
“At first the kids really didn’t understand what we were doing and then we talked about community service and little things you can do just to just help out because. I’ll tell you when we came out here and started shoveling, those kids took off. There was no complaining. It was like there mission just to get that snow down and to remove the snow so the fire hydrant could be accessed,” said Mark Janofski, Head Coach, Junior Wildcats, Peewee A-Team
The first night they took this on, the Marquette Fire Department came out to thank them for helping out.
Coach Janofski says he thought it was just another lesson from sports.
“This is one of those things that people talk about life lessons in sports with different teams and this is one of those examples where do we have to do something like this, no, but hockey really pushes, I know other sports do as well,” said Coach Janofski.
“We are not just teaching kids to be active on the ice, be active on the courts, we’re also teaching them life lessons and basically raising them to be good adults and give back to the community because it’s just what we need to do,” he said.
The Junior Wildcats PeeWee A-Team will continue to shovel off the area around fire hydrants from Lakeshore Boulevard, along Fair Street, down to the roundabout on Fourth Street.
“Every year Marquette gets a lot of snow and it just keeps coming and coming. Those fire hydrants get covered and the fire department doesn’t have the staff to keep on top of all of them and people in the neighborhoods, if you are looking to do something, be active, get a little exercise in, dig out a fire hydrant. It could save a life,” said Coach Janofski.
Local 3 spoke with a member of the Marquette Fire Department today who praises these young athletes because that extra time makes a difference.
Garrett Fuller, Relief Engineer & Paramedic, Marquette Fire Department said, “When we get on scene, it takes us time to dig out our fire hydrants. Each engine carries about 750 gallons, The ladder carries 400 gallons, and since we are in a city, a hydrated city, we depend on our hydrants to get water. If everything is going, it can be 30 seconds to a minute before our tank can run out, so we really need and are dependent on our hydrants and that takes time if we have to dig the whole hydrant out to open it and connect it to our fire engine.”