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Southern Maryland Rural Water Supply Drill - May 2021
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By President Mark Davis and Member Joseph Guyther
August 19, 2021

On May 16, 2021 numerous departments from the Southern Maryland Region participated in a large-scale rural water supply drill. The event was conducted at the Joseph Sacco Firefighting School in Valley Lee, MD and was sanctioned by the Maryland State Firemen’s Association's Rural Water Supply Committee.

Fourteen fire companies and approximately 60 firefighters participated in the training exercises which consisted of a relay evolution in the morning and a tanker shuttle evolution in the afternoon. The relay evolution consisted of an engine at draft, five engines relaying water and an attack engine supplying two master streams flowing 1100 GPM over a distance of 2400 feet. Pump operators from six different fire departments demonstrated the ability to establish and maintain a multi engine relay.

The tanker shuttle exercise was conducted with two fill sites, one dump site and one attack engine. Seven tankers participated in the shuttle over a 1.3 mile distance. One fill site was supplied by two boats and the other fill site utilized a “high capacity” draft set up. The attack engine utilized a Humat relay hitch supplied by nurse tankers while the dump site was set up. Once the dump site was operational the Humat was supplied by the dump site engine taking draft from portable dump tanks.

A total of three, dump tanks were used. A second engine was used to supply the transfer siphons moving water from one dump tank to another. In setting up the dump site operation, the dump tanks impinged on the roadway to a point that there was minimal room for the incoming tankers to dump. This proved problematic as the tankers were forced to operate partially off the roadway which eventually became soft and unstable.

Supplying a fill site from multiple low pump capacity fire boats (500 GPM or less) necessitated the use of a portable dump tank to establish a reserve surge supply (open relay) to enable the fill site engine to fill tankers at 1000 GPM.

Many lessons learned were learned by all and the drill demonstrated the value of conducting rural water supply exercises with multiple fire companies.

Many thanks to Mr. Joseph Guyther for sharing the information and photos contained in this news story. Credit to the videographer/photographer.

Hyperlinks: Link to drone footage.
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