Rural Water Supply Training

Willows Fire Department firefighters participated in a training involving rural water supply on Friday.

What happens if the fire department has to respond to a fire in an area without a fire hydrant? Where does the water come from? 

On Friday, the Willows Fire Department on duty crew’s daily training exercise involved the principles of rural water supply. 

Fire Chief Wayne Peabody said it’s different fighting fires in the rural areas compared to the city – they can lay hose from a fire hydrant in the city.

Peabody said one of the engineers showed the firefighters how to get water to areas that may not have a fire hydrant. 

In those areas, one of the tactics the firefighters utilize involves techniques known as “relay pumping” and “water shuttles” in order to gain sufficient access to water. 

A 3,000 gallon “Port-A-Tank” is placed and water tenders empty their supply into it and then travel to the nearest water source to refill and return to the scene. 

A fire engine is placed near the Port-A-Tank and drafts the water from it, pumping it to the scene. 

Peabody said it takes about two to three people to set the system up and get it running – three participated in the training on Friday. 

“We’re just out here doing our thing and trying to stay trained up ready to serve the public,” Peabody said.

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