What is your preferred method of moving water at a big rural fire? We have two tankers with dump tanks on them but very rarely use them. We usually just run a 2-1/2 from the main attack engine and let the tankers hook into it and pump off to it. I think it makes more sense to set up a dump tank and dump and go while the engine is using the water out of the dump tank. Am I wrong in thinking this??? How do all you rural depts. do it?
Our tankers don't have pumps on the so we usually just nurse right to the engine (hook a suction off the tanker to an intake) Very rarely do we set up a tank, unless water has to be shuttled a good distance.
Both ways has its advantages and disadvantages it all depends on where your at. Where I'm at it is very mountainous i live close to the Great Smokey Mt's. And a lot of places we just simply don't have room to set up drop tanks. If we have room we use drop tanks and of we don't have room we don't. A lot of our drive ways are very small and very hard to get apparatus in. WE have had a lot of houses Built up on the mountains and very winding twisting roads and we cannot get pumpers and tankers to these mt. homes we can only use mini pumpers.
We use a combination of "Pump Off" and "Drop Tank" in Tolland County (CT). Several agencies have purchased 3000 gallon eliptical tankers with large dump valves recently, and these form the backbone of our "Tanker Task Forces" Each task force is assigned several of the 3000 gallon units and one "Engine Tank" (pumper/tanker)2000 gallons or larger. (We have one of the engine tankers (1250gpm 2000gwt). Normally, the large tankers move the water and the engine tanker will pump from the drop tanks. We have however, on numerous occasions, run our engine tanker in the shuttle and pumped off, either into a supply line to the drop tanks, or directly into the drop tanks...
I recently used a five unit task force at a structure fire and moved about 60,000 gallons in short order.
Think of it in terms of GPM - how long does it take to pump off 2000 gallons of water through a 2 1/2 compared to the 10 inch quick dump? The pumper drafting from the portable pond will be able to pump at its capacity if the pond is kept filled.
It depends on the water flow needed for the fire. If you are only working one or 2 1 3/4 inch lines then pumping off (from tankers equipped with pumps) should be OK - as long as you can maintain that flow. Otherwise, drop the tank(s), fill it/them and get moving toward the fill site.
I don't know how much this technique is used, but I'll describe it and people may comment: In my first FD we called the operation a "tanker shuttle" and all tankers had on-board pumps of 250+ gpm capacity. A clappered Siamese would be put on the end of the attack truck supply line, and allow two tankers to simultaneously pump into the supply line. The one with higher pressure "won" but when it became empty the clapper would allow the other truck water to take over.
The attack pump operator stood with a leg against the supply line so that if it went limp he/she could switch over to tank water. When the supply came back one had to thief some water to fill the booster tank back up.
It worked OK but only for a couple of hand lines. If you needed big water and lots of it - no way.
thats what we do, you have to keep the tankers rolling or you will have alot longer wait for the water. Ive worked a structure where the main dept let their tanker gravity feed to the engine and that was a bunch of bull. We've also worked mutual aid fires that when we drop the tank and dump, we've actually ran dry before the tankers could return, thats why i agree DUMP AND RUN at least on structures then pump off for grass fires because the 200 gallon tank lasts alot longer
even in town we still use our dump tanks since the town water source is so small (the new pumpers could easily suck our tower and lines outta the ground) it's no biggie to run a 2 1/2 from the hydrant to the dump tank (like i said the supply is small) and we have tankers running off other lines or a neighboring town
not sure if ya'll had heard of them but around here we have a few dry hydrants in the farmers ponds. it still eats up a apperatuce that can draft but you don't have to get down and drop the suction in to the mud of the pond and their a little closer than town. if you need more info let me know.
We adjust tactics according to the size ofthe fire, and what is actually burning. For example on a standard moblie home fire, which makes up most of our structures, we pump off our 3000 tanker and are supplied by our other tankers and our mutual aid tankers. If we have a large structure w/a large fire load we use our drop tanks and shuttle water. Our automatic mutual aid and our in house tankers give us 10,000 gal water on the first alarm.
We have 6 dry hydrants and 2 city hydrants in our area so yeah, I know all about using dry hydrants. They are great if the farmers have ponds. Most of the ones in our area want us to help get one in their ponds.