Tanker Operations Efficiency #01 - The GPM/Person Approach
By President Mark Davis
January 4, 2024

Looking through a bunch of previous events' photographs and summaries we were reminded of the seminar we presented in Morrisvale, West Virginia where got to see those folks demonstrate the efficiency of a vacuum tanker water supply operation. One concept we learned from Jason Estep and the folks in Morrisvale was the notion of "gpms delivered per person" working in the supply operation. We hadn't really thought much about that measurement but when we looked at the Morrisvale drill it was pretty evident of the effective use of the measurement. The folks in Morrisvale that October 2011 weekend sustained a 1,000 gpm flow using five vacuum tankers and one conventional tanker and did it all with just 14 people...one of whom was the Incident Commander. That equates to a delivery rate of just over 71 gpm per person involved in the water supply operation. Clearly, the higher the gpm/person value the more efficient the operation. We don't often get to try out this efficiency concept in our seminars but it is something everyone needs to keep in mind. If it takes us 25 people to support a 500 gpm fire attack then in today's rural fire service....who is fighting the fire? We must be as efficient in the use of our human resources as we are in the use of our physical resources when it comes to hauling water to support a fire attack operation.