COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP -- It was another snow day Monday for many school districts in our area. But a fire department in Monroe County is giving kids a job when they're off from school, and the work could be life-saving.
As the snow continues to pile up in the Poconos, one volunteer fire company is asking for some help getting about 75 hydrants shoveled out. It's an idea that's catching on all thanks to some help from social media.
Plowed snow buried fire hydrant after hydrant in Coolbaugh Township and the snowy situation gave one volunteer firefighter an idea.
"I brought my kids out, teach them a little bit about the community, so we shoveled one of the fire hydrants. We usually do it as a fire company, but we haven't gotten around to doing that yet," said fire company president Lt. Tomas Keane.
He posted the photo on Facebook.
Now the fire chief in Coolbaugh Township is asking other kids to get outside on these snow days and shovel out a hydrant, too.
"I just want them to get a sense of community, get out there do some volunteerism, learn that they're actually helping us protect the community," said Chief Kevin Ambrogio.
The Suppans live in A Pocono Country Place and saw that Facebook post. Their son Sean is battling a deadly disease called adrenoleukodystrophy.
"We like to have him do all the fun things that all of the other kids do and keep him part of the community, and we felt like doing something like this for the community would be wonderful for him," said Ellen Suppan.
So they went to work.
"(It's fun.) Yes, because I like the snow," said 10-year old Sean Suppan.
You can find the hydrants that need to be shoveled out by looking for striped poles alongside.
Sean's dad David says they had fun searching for a hydrant.
"Lovely, it was absolutely lovely. It was fun walking around the block, checking everything out," said David Suppan.
The volunteer fire company asks any kid who shovels a hydrant to snap a before and after photo and they'll get a big thank you in the spring.
"Those kids we'll contact after winter and we'll do a pizza party at the fire house, go out for fire truck rides, things like that. Just let them know they're appreciated for helping us," said Chief Ambrogio.
Coolbaugh Township Volunteer Fire Company wants to urge parents to go with their kids if they are shoveling, to make sure everyone stays safe.
Before and after photos can be shared on the Coolbaugh Township Volunteer Fire Company Facebook page.