It was difficult, in the early days of firefighting, to get the wet stuff onto the red stuff. Bucket brigades were embraced as the best method of firefighting and “stand pipes” were positioned and attached to the municipal water systems. As noted in a previous column, freezing weather became a greater obstacle to fight fire and prevent a frozen line; traditional fire plugs were covered with manure, tanbark or straw. As the plug evolved to the hydrant, above ground nozzles were configured to avoid mud, snow and ice. Today, in Chicago, antenna identifies the hydrants during large snow accumulations. In our younger years, we shoveled snow from sidewalks and driveways as it was also our responsibility to clear snow from the hydrant on our property.