Warwick. Fighting fires when it’s cold, there are no hydrants and water is hard to find

| 22 Feb 2021 | 04:53

Warwick firefighters from the Raymond Hose Company #2 recently conducted a operations drill that included a pump drill at a pond off Kavalec Lane in Warwick in the Town where there are no hydrants.

Michael Contaxis, the Warwick Fire Department’s 1st Assistant Fire Chief, explained how the drill worked:

Firefighters were instructed to get water from a pond that was covered with five to six inches of ice.

The firefighters donned safety vests and were tendered to firefighters on shore for safety purposes. Firefighters then cut a square hole in the ice with a chainsaw for a strainer that floats on top of the water. The strainer is attached to a six-inch suction hose that is made up of 12-foot lengths; each of the three Warwick Fire Engines carry 36-feet of suction hose.

Once the operation is set, the firefighters will signal the officers to radio the pump operator to begin drafting water from the pond into the tank of the fire engine that carries a 1,000 gallons of water or directly into 1,500 or more of five-inch large diameter supply hose to an attack fire engine that could be fighting a fire or feed supply lines to a tanker shuttle operation including Warwick’s tanker that carries a massive 3,500 gallons of water to fire engines at a scene where fire hydrants in the town are not an option.

Firefighters will drop a porta tank and off load the 3,500 gallons of water and set off to retrieve more water to fight the fire.

‘Sometimes a structural fire will bring in surrounding mutual aid fire departments with other tankers or a tanker task force to help extinguish the fire,” Contaxis said. “All fire responses involve a plan including ice-covered ponds and our skill sets have to be at the ready to combat whatever task we may face.”