Water Shuttle Operations

Topic: Water Shuttle Operations Teaching and Learning Domain: Cognitive Time Required: 2 hours Materials: Appropriate visuals and chalkboard or easel pad References: IFSTA Pumping Apparatus Driver/Operator (1st ed.), Chapter 14...

  9. Depending on apparatus design or preference, direct tank fill inlet(s) designed so tank filled either

      from bottom or top

  10. Most tanker water tanks less than 6 feet tall, back pressure created by nearly full tank on bottom

        fill inlet less than 3 psi

  11. Although NFPA 1901 only requires one large discharge, highly recommended each tanker

        equipped with at least three; one discharge water from rear of apparatus and one on each side

   12. Two types of large tank discharges used on tankers: gravity dumps and jet-assisted dumps

         a. Gravity dumps rely on nature’s gravitational pull to empty water from tank

         b. Gravity dumps employ 8-inch or larger round or square piping with valve that extends to

              exterior of apparatus

         c. On outside of apparatus may be extension of dump piping that assists in directing water into

              portable tank

         d. Actual valve on gravity dump designed to be opened manually from discharge location or

             remotely from cab of apparatus

         e. Remotely operated valves pneumatically, electrically, or hydraulically actuated

         f. Remote controlled dump valves increase safety of operation by reducing chance of someone

            being pinched between apparatus and portable tank

         g. Jet dumps employ use of small diameter in-line discharge inserted into piping of large tank


         h. Discharge supplied by fire pump on apparatus

         i. In-line discharge creates venturi effect that increases water flow through large tank discharge

         j. Four primary disadvantages associated with jet dumps:

            1) Fire pump engaged before dumping water from tank which adds time to dumping operation

            2) Time saved by increased flow from tank negated by additional time needed to put dump in


             3) Water still discharged if pump not operating, but will be considerably lower rate than if

                 dump valve designed for gravity dumping

             4) Increase cost of purchasing apparatus

  13. Regardless of methods used to fill and dump tankers, important that water tank equipped with

        adequate tank vents

        a. Failure to have adequate venting during quick-filling operations result in dramatic pressure

            failure of tank

        b. Failure to have adequate venting during dumping operations result in suction effect that

           collapses tank

        c. Driver must make sure vents completely open when filling and dumping taking place

        d. From safety standpoint, remote controlled vent hatches preferable to manual ones as they

            eliminate fall hazard associated with climbing on top of apparatus



A. Introduction

  1. Success or failure of water shuttle hinges on several crucial decisions made at very beginning of


       a. Location of dump site

       b. Location of fill site

       c. Route of travel for tankers between dump and fill sites

  2. Preferable that decisions made in pre-incident planning for target hazards and geographical areas

      within each jurisdiction

  3. Pre-incident plan contain best fill site, alternative fill sites, dump site, and desired route of travel for

       shuttle apparatus

       a. Example when fire scene located down narrow lane, driveway, or dead-end street

       b. Advantageous to locate dump site at intersection where lane, driveway, or dead-end street

           meets thoroughfare

       c. Dump site pumper relays water to attack pumper located at fire scene

  4. By determining in pre-incident planning, IC or water supply officer does not have to make

      decisions under emergency conditions