The Fire Hydrant

Issue 1 and Volume 142.

The Fire Hydrant EQUIPMENT This vital piece of fireground equipment is too often taken for granted, but demands a much closer look. Since the earliest days of organized firefighting, the success or failure of fireground operations has hinged on the ability to obtain and deliver sufficient quantities of the extinguishing agent, primarily water. In response to water supply problems, extensive central water systems have been developed, and the fire hydrant has become the firefighter’s means of accessing the water system and controlling water flow. The original water mains were often constructed of wood. The hydrant was nothing more than a plug that was driven into a hole, and firefighters accessed the water supply by removing the plug and quickly inserting a suction hose into the hole. With the development of cast-iron water mains in the mid1800s, the most common hydrants were cast-iron standpipes rising two or three feet above ground…

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