Engine Company

SUSTAINED SUPPLY

Issue 9 and Volume 148.

SUSTAINED SUPPLY BY WILLIAM F. ECKMAN A sustained water supply may be the most important safety aspect of an interior structure fire attack. Engine companies often depend on the water they bring with them for the initial attack. If the water tanks on the apparatus carry enough water, the fire is still confined to a limited area, and an aggressive attack is made, then the initial supply may be sufficient to gain control–in which case a sustained supply will not be needed for knockdown. On the other hand, an initial offensive attack usually involves entering the structure. When an attack team enters a well-involved room or area, only the water from the attack line keeps the crew from being burned. Unless a continuous water supply is available, crews may be trapped inside the building, overtaken by the fire. Most engine companies carry only enough water to support a single initial…

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