SARTELL -- As the winter months roll in, the accumulation of snow and ice can make it difficult for fire fighters to do their job.

Sartell Fire officials are asking residents take a few minutes and clear out fire hydrants in your neighborhood as part of their Adopt A Hydrant program.

Fire Chief Jim Sattler says the program is just a friendly reminder to help out fire fighters prior to an emergency situation.

If they would just look in their neighborhoods and see a hydrant obstructed by snow, if they could clear that out so we have access that would be a great help.

On average, for every minute a fire burns, it doubles in size. Sattler says time is critical in an emergency and if a hydrant is covered in snow it impedes fire crews from doing their job quickly.

Obviously there is a delay. We have to start shoveling and it could take us some time. Time is of the essence with fires and ever second counts.

The program has been going on for years and there is no cost to Adopt A Hydrant.

Sattler says they appreciate the residents who take their time to not only help them out, but who are looking out for their neighbors if a fire should occur.