1. #1
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    Default What Should FD Do if Water Not Available?

    I live in Perry,NY, near Silver Lake in Wyoming County and I have noticed that the water level is lower than normal and the Silver Lake Outlet's water level is so low you could just about walk across the bottom and not do much more than muddy your shoes and yet these are sources my department draws water from for both the pumpers and our tanker. What alternatives are available in the event water is not available for fighting fires? I hate the idea of my department having little choice but to let a structure burn to the ground, but with the water level at the dry hydrant so low that a pump would suck mud into it and get put out of action, what is my department to do to suppress a fire once the tanks on the pumpers and tanker are emptied? I am really concerned, not only for the safety of our active duty guys, but all those people who would be affected by a structure fire in such a case.

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    I would hope your Department has plans for a secondary water source. Maybe you should ask them.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Bones has the right idea. Best ideas are to scout out additional water sources. It would probably be a good idea to add additional tankers (tenders out there) to dispatch.

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    If this is a temporary drought condition, that is likely to rectify itself in the foreseeable future, I would just see about temporary water storage options. Rent (or have donated), some tractor-drawn water trailers, and position them strategically, or at the hall. See about borrowing any available large forestry tanks/bladders if your wildfire season is ending. They make them in hundreds of thousands of litre capacity. You can refill each of these options slowly between calls to maintain a reserve.

    And then get to building a reliable source in your community, or at least creating a "sump" in the lake that will allow you to draft when the lake is low.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    Default Alternate Means of Fighting a Fire if Water Not Available

    I am also wondering about the use of fire suppressing dry chemicals in event the water supply is not available. My department has one straight tanker and a combination pumper-tender as well as a straight pumper and aerial platform and this is another possibility I was looking at to pass along to my department's chief. It is also partly why I came up with that crazy idea of using an aircraft on some structure fires involving large structures, such as the size of a school, factory, or warehouse as well as a brushfire that gets out of hand. The aircraft would make its drop or drop after the building's been ventilated using fire retardants much like those used on California's wildfires in addition to water (if available) as well as other means to get the job done. I admit, it may seem cockamany, but it's creative.

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    If push comes to shove, play it wildland in the city. Remove the fuel, old school style..... really old school is to demolish buildings not yet involved but next in line. You have to cut your losses somewhere.
    You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
    IACOJ Power Company Liason
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    and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.

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    Default Barricade Gel

    I remember researching a fair number of years back about a substance called "Barricade" Gel (or Jel). It would be applied with a garden hose through and eductor (we would call it an inductor) and would make best use of an extremely limited water supply. I have no idea how good it is or even if it is still around, but it sounds like it may have an application for the situation you are talking about. A web search might throw up some leads
    Jim Maclean. IACOJ NZ branch

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    Just like last time this came up, you can not rely on aircraft for structural firefighting. There a whole lot of good reasons why you can't and there are yet more good reasons why you shouldn't. I know your thinking out loud and trying to be creative. Unfortunately, this is an idea that you just shouldn't spend any more time on.

    Alternatives to the drying up draft site? Tankers already full of water, be it your own, borrowed, or mutual aid. Maybe there is a pool water company not doing much this time of year and they'll be happy to loan you their truck for a while. Or you could find other draft sites and just drop the hard suction in with a strainer.

    Really the bottom line is this:
    - Find another hole in the ground with water
    OR
    - Get more tank water
    OR
    - Let it burn down.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Default

    Get CAFS. Use less water.

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    Default Barricade Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by jimthefireman View Post
    I remember researching a fair number of years back about a substance called "Barricade" Gel (or Jel). It would be applied with a garden hose through and eductor (we would call it an inductor) and would make best use of an extremely limited water supply. I have no idea how good it is or even if it is still around, but it sounds like it may have an application for the situation you are talking about. A web search might throw up some leads
    Barricade still exists. If you want more information visit http://firegel.com

    I've seen studies that show only 10% of the water brought to the scene actually extinguishes anything, that means 90% is runoff, (think about the ankle deep water you've slogged through at times, or the thick ice underfoot in winter fires). Something like Barricade takes advantage of a limited supply of water by utilizing the existing water more effectively. The gel absorbs about 400 times it's weight in water and sticks to anything it is sprayed on. In exposure protection this relieves you of having to dedicate a hose and firefighter to protecting adjacent structures or tanks. Spray the gel on it and go about fighting the fire.

    For firefighting the gel uses all the water and extinguishes the fire. The gel coats the wall, ceiling, etc. effectively preventing the surface from reigniting. It has great thermal protection capabiity and can be used to cool hot surfaces rapidly.

    Barricade II is a completely non-toxic, NPE and petroleum distillate free gel that can be deployed by departments and/or homeowners to protect property, structures, vehicles etc. from fire damage.

    It is deployed using an eductor nozzle that draws the Barricade concentrate from a container and mixes it with water from your hose (either fire equipment hose in the commercial/professional kit, or garden hose for the homeowner's kit).

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    Look into alternate water sources.........remember to think OUTSIDE the box. Any swimming pools in the area?? Both residential and public?? POssibly have a third or fourth alarm for tankers........Private ponds....etc. Might think about burying a couple 10,000- 20,000 gallon tanks for water in strategic locations just for the summer months........

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    Default Alternate sources of Water

    There are a fair number of swimming pools in my community, a public wading pool and a pond in the village park that could be tapped for the water they contain if need be. Some area farms have ponds, too. Luckily this year the water table is back up to normal or near normal levels. It really scared the bejesus out of me when the Outlet level was so low you could almost walk across the bottom without getting more than muddied up.

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