GRANTS PASS, Ore.,--Much of Rural Metro Fire's nearly 300 square mile service area is without hydrants. Water supply for fire suppression is generally dependent on tender/tanker support, but our ability to "draft" water out of other sources is also critical. Rural Metro engines carry 20 feet of suction tubes to pull water from rivers, irrigation ditches, ponds and some pools. The common sources we use are pre-identified to ensure year-round access and available supply.
Rural Metro conducts weekly training's, a lot goes into drafting water correctly. While it's a helpful resource, Rural Metro firefighter Cooper Murphy says it's not always easy or ideal.
"When it hits freezing temperatures in the winter, then you can't access the water with the ice, if you are in a big drought and there's a creek but there's little to no water in it that would post a problem," said Murphy.
Although rural metro drafts water frequently, they know they can't rely on this method.
"We don't run our calls hoping for and expecting these to be there, we run our calls with our water tenders right behind us for that source and if this happens to be there that's luxury," says Murphy.