A writer says New York City should reduce the space set aside on each side of a fire hydrant from 15 feet to three [“Revise hydrant parking rules,” Just Sayin’, Feb. 20].

He suggests that people who use these newly created parking spaces would have to hold the city harmless in the course of a fire if, in the moving of such cars to get access to a hydrant, they damaged the vehicle.

Seconds count in a fire. I would like to know if the writer’s home were on fire, how many precious minutes he would think acceptable for the fire department to spend moving a car before it could hook up a hose.

Connie Leo, Massapequa

I was an engine pump operator for the New York City fire department. The idea of using hydrants as parking spots is just so off the hook.

The delay when a vehicle is parked at a hydrant can mean the difference between life and death.

In addition, the line officer inside the burning building is calling and waiting for water. You need to ask which is more important: a parking space or the lives of civilians and firefighters who could be trapped by a lack of water.

The FDNY has enough to do under adverse conditions without adding more to that task.

John Poulos, Patchogue

Editor’s note:The writer is a retired FDNY lieutenant.

Fire hydrants in New York City are spaced about 600 feet apart. An engine connecting to a hydrant is pulled up to the curb to allow the truck with the ladders to pass and park as close to the building fire as possible.

This allows ladders to be placed at the window to search for and rescue occupants. It also provides access to the roof to ventilate the building and facilitates a way for firefighters to escape from the building as conditions within the structure deteriorate.

The upside might be more parking spaces, but the downside could be an increase in injuries and fatalities.

Steven Mormino, Massapequa Park

Editor’s note:The writer is a retired FDNY lieutenant.