CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — Fire safety is no joke, but some fire hydrants in Chatham County aren’t in working condition.

Firefighters in Chatham County work every day to put out fires all over our area, but they can’t do their job without working fire hydrants.

They tell me more hydrants and constant maintenance are key to fire safety in our community.

“Water for fire suppression for the fire dept is critical. Without the water, it’s very difficult, and it delays operations to be able to put fires out and save lives,” Chatham Fire Chief James Vickers said.

According to a recent report presented to the Chatham County Board of Commissioners by the fire department, 73 fire hydrants in the county have minor or major issues, making them at least partially inoperable.

Chatham Fire Chief James Vickers tells me that roughly 40% of unincorporated Chatham County has no fire hydrants at all.

He says firefighters carry some water with them to every scene, but he tells me that it can be used up within minutes. That’s where the need for hydrants comes in.

Vicker tells me every minute counts when it comes to putting out a blaze and says firefighters had to bring extra water with them or find alternate hydrants that can eat up valuable time.

“If there’s a hydrant in the area, and it’s not functioning, we will actually go to the next nearest hydrant, which could be up to 1000 foot away, which causes delays in actual home scene operations,” Vicker said.

These concerns come as some residents tell WSAV, they’re unhappy with fire fee charges from the county.