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...

          1) Blind intersections pose extreme danger when driver cannot see oncoming cross traffic

          2) Reverse also true when drivers of civilian vehicles cannot see oncoming apparatus

          3) When possible, use police officers to control flow of traffic at dangerous intersections along

              shuttle route

       d. Winding roads-require concentration on part of driver; one slight slip in attention level can result

            in collision

       e. Steep grades-both uphill and downhill can cause problems for driver

          1) Uphill grades slow shuttle operation and cause excessive wear on vehicle

          2) Driving on downhill grades also dangerous

          3) Brake fade can result in driver being unable to slow or stop vehicle at bottom of hill

       f. Inclement weather conditions-roads not cleared of ice, snow, standing water, mud, or storm

          debris avoided

  9. Water Shuttles in IMS

       a. When setting up water shuttle operation, important to understand how the shuttle fits into overall

           command structure of incident operations

       b. Many departments find most effective to view water shuttle operation and fireground operation

           as two independent operations, both supervised by one IC

       c. IC personally directs fire fighting operations and creates water supply group or sector to handle

          water shuttle operation

  10. When water supply group/sector established, IC must select person in charge of group/sector

       a. Person known as water supply offcer

       b. Of all apparatus in water shuttle, only supervisor communicates directly with IC

       c. If IC chooses to activate operations section of IMS, water supply officer reports to operations

          section chief

  11. Jurisdictions that have multiple radio frequencies available find it helpful to switch water shuttle

        operation to different channel

       a. Reduces radio clutter and confusion

       b. When supervisor needs to communicate with IC or operations chief, simply switches to


       c. Person selected water supply officer should have experience in pumper and tanker operations,

          shuttle operations, and IM

  12. Once water supply officer appointed and plan for water shuttle operation formulated, supervisor

        should appoint individuals in charge of fill site and dump site

       a. May be driver or company officer stationed locations

       b. Persons assigned positions would have radio designations “fill site” and “dump site.”

       c. Individuals in charge of fill and dump sites in constant communication with each other and


  13. Supervisor should monitor water demand at dump site closely and anticipate problems

       a. IC in close contact with water supply officer in event conditions or tactics demand significant

          change in amount of water used

       b. Water supply officer can adjust resources to meet demand

  14. When significant amount of water required, may be necessary to establish two or more

        independent water shuttle operations

       a. Separate fill and dump sites for each water shuttle

       b. Tankers assigned to specific leg of operation and remain in pattern

       c. When two or more shuttles required, necessary to establish water supply branch

       d. Person in charge called water supply branch director

       e. Each individual shuttle operation has supervisor



A. Introduction

  1. Purpose of fill site operation to reload tankers as expediently as possible

  2. Water supply officer should select best method for particular incident being handled

B. Positioning Fill Site Pumper

  1. Water supplies for shuttle operation come from either fire hydrant or static water supply source