Saturday, July 28, 2012 -
Water Supply. One of the most important operations on any fireground. Whether it is a barn fire or a brush fire, it is put out using water. In our coverage area, and most all of our neighboring areas, water supply is more than hooking to a close hydrant. Our water supplies may be miles away, off the road, low due to dry conditions or frozen over with ice. This is what sets rural firefighting apart from suburban or urban. The companies that operate in a rural environment must be very skilled in, and train consistently on water supply.
On Saturday, 11 companies and 19 pieces of apparatus took place in a rural water supply drill hosted by the QFD. Over the course of the last few months, QFD Chief Engineer Wayne Brion and several members have spent time planning and preparing for this exercise. At noon time on Saturday, it was set in motion.
At 12 pm, all companies gathered at Station 5-7, and after a quick lunch, were briefed on the objectives, routes, locations and safety items for the day. At 12:30, units "responded" to Prange's truck lot at the intersection of Maple Shade Rd. and Rt. 472 in Kirkwood to set up and begin flowing water. A TFT Blitzfire was established with a flow rate of 250 gpm from Rescue 5-7. Tanker 5-7 suplied Rescue 5-7, with Oxoford units setting up to be utilized as a nurse tanker also. As tankers began to arrive, the were instructed to off-load, and some we ordered to deploy their porta-tanks, something that we very rarely, if ever, do in Quarryville. As the afternoon progressed, we utilized all apparatus in the water supply or at the fill-sites.
A lot of information was gathered and learned or reinforced. Good discussions were held at the scene and later back at Station 5-7 during the critique. Many different operations and set-ups were discussed, all being good for different types of fires and scenarios.
In all, appx. 98,500 gallons of water was discharged. As in a real call, some difficulties were experienced and overcome. The original 250 gpm was maintained the entire time. At some points, the flow exceeded 1500 gpm.
Thanks to all of the companies that assisted with this drill. We hope that everyone enjoyed it, and took some items back to their company for discussion. Thanks to all of the QFD members, especially CE Brion, that turned out and made the drill a success. Thanks to Tom Amico for the pictures (he took over 500 of them). Thanks also to Willow Street FC Engine 501 and crew for standing by for us during the drill.