Hose reel trucks have been around for many years and are sometimes associated with a "regional" approach to water supply operations. The use of a hose reel truck adds another "tool in the toolbox" when it comes to water supply options in areas with limited fire protection water supplies. In the rural areas, a hose reel truck can serve as a source pumper and supply water back to a fire scene, tanker loading area, or another pumper for relay pumping operations. At a large fire in an urban area, a reel truck can lay a supply line to a different hydrant grid area thus "tapping" a larger water main or stronger distribution area. In the industrial world, a reel truck can be used to bypass damaged parts of a fire water system or access a river or ship channel and pump water back to the plant.
Whatever the purpose in mind, hose reel trucks are quite useful when faced with supply problems at a big water event. Although it might only be used once or twice a year, a well-equipped LDH hose reel truck can be a valuable asset in a regional approach to fire protection water supply operations.
During our 2015 LDH/Relay Pumping Operations Seminar in Delaware, Ohio, we got to see Hose 381 from the Porter Kingston Fire District in operation. Hose 381 was used to lay the first part of our 5,000 ft lay of 5-inch hose. The rig is equipped with dual reels and a 1,000 gpm front mount pump. The hose reel truck had originally carried 4-inch LDH when first placed in service, but the folks have since upgraded to 5-inch LDH.