“Where’s the Water” Rural Fire Attack
Serving a rural community has its challenges. One of the most obvious ones is the lack of a hydrant water supply. This is why we need to drill in drafting and tanker shuttle operations. Those that drive and pump the truck will gladly tell you how frustrating it is to arrive on the scene and have the attack crew quickly exit the truck and stretch the attack lines. They then request water. Meanwhile the pump operator and usually the chief are busy setting up a portable water tank and attaching the hard suction to the pumper. I have heard “where’s the water?!?” many times in this situation. This month take some time to drill on rural fire attack.
Begin this drill by dividing the department into teams to perform different tasks. One team will be on the attack pumper. Another team will be on the tanker. You may have enough to do this several times allowing firefighters to perform different tasks. We did this in our parking lot. The attack pumper arrives first and positions itself as though they were on a farm yard. A few firefighters will stretch hose towards a traffic cone that represents a fire. The rest of the crew begins to attach the hard suction and strainer. The tanker then arrives and drops the portable tank. Assisted by the first trucks crew, they then set up the tank and drop a load of water. They then leave to refill. The pumper establishes draft and continues to pump.
We had them flow water from the booster tank and then switch to draft. Repeat this until all are comfortable.
After the training we debriefed the department. It was quite an eye opener for some of our members.
Upon completion, the firefighter should be able to….
• Identify responsibilities of team members for rural fire attack.
• Determine the best location to set the pumper up for draft.
• Set up a water supply from draft.
• Connect a water tanker to a hydrant.
• Discuss the importance of teamwork in a rural fire attack.
Scott Meinecke is a member of the Sheldon Volunteer Fire Department, an instructor for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, and field staff for the Fire Service Training Bureau. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org