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

Paul Shapiro


A large volume water fire like this requires supplemental water delivery. This is where a Water Delivery Support Unit comes into play.

It’s easy to understand having a water supply problem in a rural area where hydrants are few and far between or non-existent altogether. However I have a hard time believing that a water supply problem can exist when the fire is in the inner city with hydrants around for miles and 5" hose is being used as the vessel of delivery. The true fact is that every year we seem to have difficulties with our water delivery management at these inner city fires and it is these very same fires that cause the largest fire losses.

The W.D.S. unit is designed to move large volumes of water either from a distant water source via a supply line evolution or at the fire providing large caliber streams. The equipment and its design totally reflects the units ability to do this. There are no ladders, blowers, salvage equipment or anything else that is used to support the normal fireground operations. The exact equipment and unit design will be discussed later in this document.

There are several ways in which the W.D.S. unit can be utilized on a daily basis, however it’s main purpose is to respond to major fires where water supply could be a problem. When a major fire occurs and continues to escalate the IC should not wait until the water supply becomes a problem. The W.D.S. unit should begin establishing a supplemental supply line evolution in the event more water should be needed. Then if a water supply shortage should occur the backup water will be ready for use.


The WDS unit can lay out to a distant hydrant to bring in a supplemental water supply.