"The Milton Fire Department spent four months in 2011 conducting bi-annual hydrant maintenance that had an impact on the department's budget as it related to fuel costs, added wear and tear to the department's front line fire apparatus and time spent on the hydrant maintenance detail by fire personnel. The purpose of the research was to determine the cost associated with hydrant maintenance being performed by Milton Fire Department personnel versus out-sourcing hydrant maintenance to a private contractor. Furthermore, this project was intended to determine if hydrant maintenance added additional wear and tear to fire apparatus beyond what is normal and expected of fire apparatus, if the hydrant maintenance detail had an impact on response times, and if the Milton Fire Department followed established standards for hydrant maintenance. The methods included a detailed analysis of Firehouse records, financial data, and repair and maintenance records. The results of the evaluative research indicated that the Milton Fire Department adhered to recognized standards for hydrant maintenance. The statistical data indicated that repair costs and fuel costs increased during or immediately following hydrant maintenance cycles. However, response times improved when Milton Fire Department personnel were in territory performing hydrant maintenance. The research indicated that outsourcing fire hydrant maintenance to a private contractor would be financially beneficial to the Milton Fire Department."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/