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Water Delivery Support Unit: It's for the Big One

Paul Shapiro

Fire Ground Water Delivery

The W.D.S. unit is designed to move large volumes of water and supplement large scale fire operations. Before we discuss what this unit has to offer I feel it is important to recognize the main reason behind why a water supply and water discharge problem usually develops on the large scale fires.

Fire departments across the country tend to get comfortable with their daily routine when it comes to the type of fires they respond to or in some cases the infrequency of certain types of fire calls in general. Most cities experience enough single family dwelling type fires to become good enough to say that their actions in fighting these fires have become second nature.

This type of fire scenario is very easy to provide adequate manpower and equipment support. In fact, a single company drill can easily create the proper hose evolutions for the most part.

What about the fire that requires more than a couple of attack lines? Let’s take a look at a commercial structure fire. How does a furniture store sound, with exposures on the B and D sides? The fire has progressed to a point of full involvement with fire coming through the roof. The exposures are in immediate danger. There are very few fire departments that get enough of these to feel comfortable with handling them. There are more times than not a multi-company and sometimes a multi-agency battle that can be what is commonly known in the fire service as organized chaos. One of the big problems with this type of fire, no matter how many units are involved, is the ability to develop adequate firefighting streams. The problem usually starts with trying to find water sources to deliver the extra GPM needed for the big fires an ends up with poor quality streams trying to achieve the extinguishment. Again, it is our lack of experience with these type of fires that usually creates the problem.