Tanker Operations in Water Supply

Course: Tanker operations in water supply Session Reference: 1-1 Time Required: 3 Hours Materials Required: Engines, tankers, various water sources, portable water tanks, Motivation:

  3. Portable tanks as necessary

  4. Nurse tankers

      a. Position dump tanks so they are accessible to tankers

           a) Use more than one portable tank if necessary

           b) Use appropriate water transfer devices to move stored water between portable tanks.

      b. Have adequate personnel available to safely manage dump site responsibilities

           a) Traffic control

           b) Hose handlers/firefighters


V. Operation of a water tanker shuttle

A. Water supply officer

      a. Directs all water supply operation as part of incident command system

      b. Requests additional resources as required

B. Establish a fill site, dump site, and a travel route for tankers shuttling water.

C. Maintain orderly flow of vehicle traffic on route.

      a. Avoid having tankers parked at dump site blocking access to fireground

      b. Establish staging area for filled tankers if necessary


VI. Increasing Water Amounts

A. Add additional tankers into shuttle

     a. Long travel route

     b. Tankers unable to maintain supply because of route or distance

B. Establish multiple tanker fill stations

     a. Used if problem can be identified as bottleneck at fill site

     b. Having a multiple fill provides backup if problem occurs at one site.

C. Establish multiple tanker dump stations at fireground

     a. Used if problem can be identified as bottleneck at dump site

     b. May be necessary if water supply is required in areas of the fireground where laying supply lines

         is not practical.

D. Establish multiple complete shuttle operations.

    a. Desirable if fireground operation is very large and requires large volume of water

    b. All water supply operations should be coordinated through incident command


VII. Practical evolutions

A. Students shall select a site to simulate a fireground, and establish the amount of water flow desired

B. Students shall establish a tanker shuttle operation capable of supplying the water flow required at the fireground using resources available within the jurisdiction

C. Students shall identify ways to increase the amount of water available at the drill site, using resources available within the jurisdiction.

D. Cleanup

E. Critique




Tanker operations in rural water supply

   • Selecting water sources

   • Tanker features

   • Selecting a route of travel for tankers

   • Operation of tanker fill and dump stations

   • Calculating water flow requirements and how to meet them

   • Ways to increase amount of water available at the fireground



It is important for companies to be able to obtain water from sources other than hydrants at the fireground. Insuring an adequate water supply is one of the most vital steps in insuring a successful fireground operation.