Supporting the Fire Department
The Tybee Island Fire Department consists entirely of volunteer firefighters. The criteria to become a volunteer can be obtained by contacting the department at 912-472-5062 or by email.
You can also support the Fire Department by purchasing a TIFD t-shirt for $20 each at the fire station's administrative office.
Learn more about the department's fire safety equipment by viewing the apparatus gallery.
Fire Plugs Color Coding on Tybee
In 2017, the fire hydrants on Tybee Island have undergone a face lift.
A visitor asked the other day why Tybee fire hydrants are now typically painted silver with orange tops. Our hydrants used to be painted red, but the Fire Department has been making various upgrades to make our fire fighters more effective over the last few years.
It started when they began placing blue reflective bumps in the road to indicate the location of hydrants. The bump will be placed closer to the side of the road where the hydrant is located.
More recently, they upgraded the colors of the hydrants themselves. The National Fire Prevention Association, or NFPA, has specified standard markings for the body, tops, and even side caps on fire hydrants, to indicate various properties of each hydrant.
The standard body colors indicate the source of water for the hydrant. Yellow hydrants supply from a municipal water system. TIFD has used an alternative for the public water supply color of silver, to make the hydrants more visible at night. Red hydrants supply from a private water system, such as a well in a neighborhood or a reservoir to support an apartment complex. A violet or purple hydrant indicates reclaimed water or groundwater well supply, which would be considered non-potable.
The top of the hydrant indicates the gallons-per-minute flow that can be expected from the hydrant. Red is for less than 500 GPM. The common Tybee color is orange, which indicates a flow rate of 500-1000 GPM. A green cap is used when the hydrant can supply between 1000 and 1500 GPM. A light blue cap shows a flow rate of better than 1500 GPM.
The side caps may also be color coded, and very low or very high GPM flows may have values stenciled on the hydrant. Hydrants out of service should be painted black.
Although these color-coding standards were used by fewer than half the communities in the US in 2005, it has been taken up by other communities in the last 10+ years. There don’t seem to be any published compliance rates that would update that statistic, however.
If you see an open hydrant running water onto the street, this is part of the normal maintenance of the system. The supply lines need to be flushed on occasion to keep them clean and to make sure they are functioning properly and at expected rates.