The annual fall rural water supply drill put on by the MSFA Rural Water Supply Committee was hosted by the Eastern Garrett County Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday October 27. Units registered at the EGCVFD station at 0800 and enjoyed a fine breakfast put on by the Ladies Auxiliary. The drill began at 0900 with a video presentation of a previous drill which outlined some basic points of an effective shuttle operation. A question and answer session as well as a safety briefing were held after the video presentation. The scenario for the drill was laid out and units provided with radios and instructions for the exercise.
The scenario for the drill was a re-creation of a fire that occurred a few years ago at the Hen House Restaurant. This building was severely damaged by fire, and water supply was a bit of a problem at that incident. This drill was set up to help find ways to improve on rural water supply procedures in the case of another fire requiring a large amount of water in this area.
The drill began at 1030 hours and ran for 97 minutes. The drill was shortened a bit to accommodate the opening of the restaurant for business. We were able to deliver close to 50,000 gallons of water in that amount of time. At one point in time we were flowing 700 gallons per minute. The average for the entire length of the drill was approximately 520 gallons per minute. Great delivery from only 10 pieces of apparatus, including 5 tankers, 2 engine tankers, one quint, one engine and one brush unit and 30 personnel.
We identified several challenges early that the crews were able to overcome and correct. Some of those challenges included;
No strainer on the hard sleeve in the drop tank
Different size hard sleeves from the various apparatus
Not enough jet siphons
No personnel to assist with filling shuttle apparatus
Folding tanks placed too close together allowing only one tanker to use the side dumps
to unload at a time
Air leaks at the draft site and dry hydrant
After the exercise shut down and picked up, a delicious lunch was served to all the participants by the EGCVFD. A post drill analysis was held after lunch and all units were clear by 1400 hours.
Thanks go out to Chief Tim Clark and the members and Auxiliary of the EGCVFD for hosting the drill and the great hospitality. Thanks also go out to the five Maryland and two Pennsylvania fire companies that participated. Special thanks to Laytonsville VFD, Mount Airy VFD, and Sandy Spring VFD for traveling the long distance to participate in the drill.
The MSFA Rural Water Supply Committee is looking for a host for the spring drill. If your company is interested in hosting, please contact Chairman Buddy Sutton to voice your interest. There will be a two day rural water supply seminar sponsored by the MSFA Rural Water Supply Committee on March 23 and 24, 2013 hosted by the Harford County VFA and held at the Jarrettsville VFD. More details will be posted soon. This seminar is being presented by GotBigWater LLC which specializes in rural water supply instruction, and will include classroom and practical exercises in the two day time frame. There is no charge for this seminar but pre-registration will be required.