Engine Company, Firefighting

Overcoming an Insufficient Water Supply

Issue 10 and Volume 171.

BY DAVID R. HARRIS Much has been published about transitional attack and the proper sizes, lengths, and flows for attack lines and other related engine company topics. However, you won’t find much on the issue of water supply. They are important topics for an engine company that wants to succeed in suppressing the fire, whether it’s a large metropolitan or a rural volunteer fire department; but if you can’t get an adequate water supply to the attack engine, everything else is futile. Developing a sustainable water supply is the most important and often overlooked function of the engine company. There isn’t much in the literature on the calculations of fire flows, the water supply needed to sustain the fire flows, the sources of water, preplanning water supplies, and how to overcome water supply issues. Below, the focus is on the basics of water supply options to sustain the fire suppression…

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