No hydrants? No Problem!
So what do you do when there is a fire and you have no fire hydrants? The answer is simple: you locate an alternative water source and find a way to get it to the fire ground; however, the execution of this task can be quite complex. This process is called rural water supply and has been developed to be very effective in areas that that do not have fire hydrants. This type of water supply operation is our specialty, as we have no fire hydrants in our first due area.
How it works:
When dispatched on a structure fire, the first piece of apparatus to respond is Engine 501, which holds about 1000 gallons of water. This equates to approximately 5-10 minutes of actual firefighting depending on conditions inside of the structure. This doesn’t leave much time for setting up a water supply operation. In addition to Engine 501, Engine-Tanker 503 and Tanker Support 504 are also dispatched; their primary mission being water supply. Engine-Tanker 503 will respond directly to the scene of the fire with 3000 gallons of water and a folding tank (which can be seen in the photo: large yellow pool). Firefighters will then strategically place the folding tank, then dump the 3000 gallons of water into it. Meanwhile, Tanker Support 504 will be making its way to the water source. This could be a pond, stream, or one of the large underground tanks that are strategically placed throughout the district. We have even used swimming pools as a water source if needed. Once a water source is established Engine-Tanker 503, along with other available Engines and Tankers in the area, will continue to shuttle water between the fireground and the water source. Usually, there will multiple water sources and tanker operations set up for one fireground operation.