Once in a while WabFire will be called on to do some work outside of our normal firefighting duties. This past Tuesday we took advantage of the annual pool drain to work on our drafting and to practice using the monitor that’s housed in our Pump 1 truck. What would normally take approximately three days to drain the 395,000 litre pool (that’s 185,507 6-packs, if you need help visualizing), took us 2 hours and 18 minutes!
It’s important to practice drafting, especially where we fight fires in a rural setting as we don’t always have access to a fire hydrant. Drafting is essentially when we draw water from any water source that isn’t a hydrant. To draft we use a hard suction hose (this stops the hose from collapsing, which could severely damage the truck) and a floating strainer (you can see ours has sunk from the weight of the hose!). The strainer stops any bits and pieces from getting into the truck, which could gunk up the internal system or the nozzles.
To spray the water we used the monitor and a solid stream nozzle. With the monitor, we’re able to change the water pattern by simply twisting the front of the monitor (which looks like a huge shower head). It can go from a ‘straight stream’ to a ‘fog pattern’. The monitor can also swivel back and forth and be moved up and down.
The solid stream nozzle is a more traditional fire hose nozzle. It just delivers a solid stream of water. Ours are stacking tips, we’re able to change diameter of the nozzle’s opening, increasing or decreasing the amount of water that passes through the nozzle at any time. Depending on the nozzle tip size, the firefighter manning the pump will need to adjust the pressure the truck is giving the hose to ensure adequate water flow.
Check out the short video below showing the strength of the monitor!