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IPF team makes finals at state Hydrant Hysteria competition

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Feb. 14, 2019

In just their second year competing, the IPF team of Jason Pohl and Ryan Pung, both pipefitters/welders in Mechanical Services, made the state Hydrant Hysteria finals last week.

The pair competed against teams from other municipalities and private organizations at the Michigan Water Environment Association expo at the Lansing Center to see who could assemble a fire hydrant accurately in the shortest amount of time. IPF staff attended the expo in part for training to maintain their water operator licenses

The team had the fastest time of any team this year with 1 minute 22.1 seconds in the preliminaries. However, their final run was a little slower, and coupled with an accuracy deduction, it meant last year’s winner Battle Creek will travel to Denver, Colorado for the national finals. Besides bragging rights, the winner of each state-level competition gets an all-expense-paid trip to the national competition.

“We are looking forward to next year,” said Mechanical Services supervisor Sam Fortino, who coached the team. “I’m pretty confident Michigan will have a new champion!”

As part of their job duties, Pohl and Pung regularly work with hydrants and hold state water operator licenses. The water distribution crew has seven members, who perform maintenance on hydrants and other parts of campus’ water system.

The MSU campus has nearly 500 hydrants and 74 miles of water mains that deliver between 2.5 million and 5 million gallons of water each day.