Engine Company

Loss of Water: Every Engine Chauffeur’s Nightmare

Issue 2 and Volume 164.

BY NOEL MAITLAND It’s 3 a.m. fire is blowing out the windows of the private dwelling, and there are reports of people trapped. You’ve got the first handline in operation, and things are looking hopeful. Then comes that URGENT message that freezes every chauffeur’s blood: The nozzle team has lost water! Do you know what to do? I had an officer who taught me to always test the hydrant on a fire run, even if it’s for one of those annoying automatic alarms that always seem to turn out to be defective. Why? Because the time to find out the hydrant doesn’t work is when you DON’T need it! It’s the same with our vital, skill-improving training: It’s far better to make mistakes in the comfort of a firehouse drill than in our 3 a.m. Armageddon scenario. So where do you start? I’ve heard it said that when you lose…

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