Engine Company

ENSURING A CONTINUOUS WATER SUPPLY

Issue 10 and Volume 154.

BY BILL GUSTIN One of the first objectives of an engine company is to secure a continuous and adequate water supply. Yet, fire departments technically violate this rule every time they begin firefighting operations with just the water carried in their apparatus booster tanks. Why the difference between “textbook” theory and firefighting in the real world? LARGER TANKS, SMALLER CREWSReliance on tank water is a result of two trends in the modern fire service: (1) Apparatus are being specified with larger booster tanks, and (2) many departments are experiencing a reduction in staffing. Photo 1. Photo by Eileen Kimball. Click here to enlarge image An engine with a 750- or 1,000-gallon booster tank carries sufficient water to achieve a quick knockdown of our most common structure fire—the single-family dwelling. Given their average size, fire load, and compartmentation, most fires in private residences can be controlled with one or two 1¾-inch…

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