A night at OBC

Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department tours Old Baldy Club, has dinner

 

September 4, 2019

Joshua Wood

Daniel Shumaker, Maintenance Manager at OBC, discusses hydrant locations with members of the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department.

Members of the Old Baldy Club (OBC) were treated to an interesting sight on the evening of Aug. 28 as a number of golf carts, driven by the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD), made their way through the grounds of the exclusive club. As part of a tour, led by Maintenance Manager Daniel Schumaker, the SVFD were shown the locations of 28 fire hydrants on the property.

While OBC does draw water from the Town of Saratoga, the club is behind a master meter. This means the system behind that meter is the property of the club and is their responsibility to maintain the infrastructure. Recently, OBC has been updating their fire suppression system and has been replacing out-dated fire hydrants.

"There were several of them that are still from 1963, when the place was built, and they're still functioning and we also have some hydrants that were installed over the years that the companies that made them are obsolete and there are no parts to be had for them. So, we're replacing them," said OBC Manager Bill Culbreath.


As the tour began, Shumaker showed the SVFD the fire suppression system inside the lodge before taking them to the fleet of golf carts outside the pro-shop. With a map of the property in hand, a stop was made at each hydrant where the fire department could mark it and discuss how to set-up should there be a fire at one of the homes.

Each of the hydrants on the OBC property were painted according to the Nation Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) code. The body colors of a fire hydrant denote whether it's a municipal system, yellow, or a private system, red. The bonnets of the hydrants are also painted with red to show water flow denoting less than 500 gallons per minute (gpm), orange 500-999 gpm, green 1,000 to 1,499 gpm and light blue 1,500 gpm and above.

"It's very important to Old Baldy. One, of course, we have all of our own infrastructure in here. So, all of the hydrants and all the plumbing and everything belongs to Old Baldy, so we wanted to make sure the volunteer fire department came out and knew where everything was," Culbreath said.

Following the tour of the area, which went from the lodge down to the property line next to the Saratoga Hot Springs Resort, the golf carts made their way back to the lodge where they were served dinner in appreciation of the SVFD. 

"If they're going to come out and try to make sure that we're going to be safe, should we have a fire, I wanted to show our appreciation as well. So, have them stay for dinner and treat them to a nice evening at Old Baldy Club. Our relationship with the community is, I believe, extremely valuable in both directions. What Old Baldy does to support the community and what the members do to support the community is extremely important," said Culbreath. "We did a fundraiser last year ... that raised quite a bit of money to buy respirators for the volunteer fire department. We continue to do community fundraisers within our membership to help support the community."


According to Culbreath, the majority of the obsolete hydrants have been replaced, only two remain and are on order. Another upgrade to the system has been to install isolation valves for when a hydrant needs to be replaced in the future.

 

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