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...

  5. Insurance Services Office (ISO) gives extra rating credit to jurisdictions that have automatic aid

      agreements for water shuttle operations

B. Selecting Dump Site Location

  1. Location of dump site in close proximity to incident scene

  2. Front and center of incident not always best location for dump site

  3. Even when fire scene located on through street, front of fire scene blocked by early arriving


  4. Because committed hoselines or aerial devices, not practical to reposition trucks to provide through

      access for water shuttle

  5. Dump site established at intersection close to scene, with dump site pumper supplying water to

      attack apparatus at scene

  6. Large parking lots near fire scene make excellent dump sites

C. Selecting Fill Site Location

  1. Department should have knowledge of appropriate fill sites in jurisdiction before incident occurs

  2. Drivers and officers should have good knowledge of water system hydrants, dry hydrants, and

      suitable drafting locations within response district

  3. When need to establish water shuttle occurs, IC or water supply officer selects closest suitable

       water supply source to scene

  4. Closest suitable water supply source not necessarily be actual closest water supply source

       a. For example, suppose incident calls for water shuttle to provide flow of 750 gpm for extended

           period of time

       b. Two closest water supply sources to dump site are 250 gpm rural water system hydrant 1 mile

           from scene and well-maintained dry hydrant supplied from large lake 2 miles away

       c. Probably better to establish fill site at dry hydrant

       d. Extra mile driven in each direction made up by time saved in filling tanks

       e. When possible, select fill site capable of supplying at least 1,000 gpm

  5. For reasons of travel safety or water flow requirements, sometimes better to establish fill site at

      location somewhat farther from dump site than closest source

  6. Best fill and dump sites are those in which tankers drive straight in from one direction, fill or dump,

      and proceed straight out other end

  7. If maneuvering unavoidable, remember always easier to maneuver apparatus before tank filled than


  8. On large-scale water shuttle operations, advantageous to use multiple fill and dump sites

  9. May require two completely separate shuttle operations to supply each end of incident

D. Selecting Route of Travel

  1. Route of travel for shuttle operation should take both safety and operational efficiency into


  2. Circular route of travel considered to be optimum method for conducting water shuttle operation

  3. Method eliminates possibility of large trucks needing to pass each other on narrow, rural roads

  4. When using circular pattern, direction of travel for each leg not particularly important unless

      substantial hill or grade on one or both of legs

  5. Most desirable to have full tankers travel downhill and empty ones travel uphill

  6. Roadways used during shuttle operations closed to traffic other than emergency vehicles

  7. Apparatus traveling back and forth on same road cause lot of confusion for public on same road

     and drivers in shuttle must exercise additional caution

  8. Other safety issues considered when selecting route of travel

      a. Narrow roads-problems posed include difficulty passing other vehicles and possibility of getting

         apparatus tires off road surface and causing collision

      b. Long driveways-often require tight maneuvering of apparatus

          1) Improper coordination results in apparatus approaching each other from opposite directions

          2) Could result in serious accident

          3) Rigs forced to back out because of inability to pass other rigs

       c. Blind curves and intersections-vehicles may cross centerline and enter path of another vehicle