Water Supply Part 2

Now let’s take a look at rural water supply. Some things need to come into consideration when dealing with fire flow and the needed water at the scene.

First what does your department have for resources? Is it a standardized fleet of tankers or a makeup of different size tank capacities and dump/fill times? What does your mutual/automatic aide departments have and when was the last time you trained with them?

Where are the locations for your static water sources? Are they ponds, streams or dry hydrants? Are the dry hydrants well marked and maintained? When dealing with a mobile water supply, you need to realize that this is an incident within an incident. A water supply officer needs to be appointed to handle and coordinate the operation. Based on water tables at the static source, water supply points may have to be changed during an operation. An additional engine is needed for the water supply point. All of this has to taken into consideration during a either a large or small scale incident.

Positioning is just as critical for mobile water supply as catching a hydrant is. In the event that the first in engine positions wrong and does not have good access to the incident itself, not having good access for the tankers to come in and drop their water and be able to turn around or make a loop can be just as devastating to an incident as large diameter hose blocking the road. Stagger your tankers if at all possible. Have at least one of them at the water supply point with that engine to help set up the site, while the other one is at the fire scene. This will help to start a loop of a never ending water supply. As additional tankers arrive the water supply officer needs to place those in the loop as needed.  The determination needs to be made early if you are going to do a truck to truck supply. Again, plan ahead and be thinking of that mobile water supply and how to transition from truck to truck to the mobile water supply.

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