Water Supply Procedures & Practices

SLFD has several proven approaches to providing water supply in our fire district.  We will lay large diameter hose (5 inch) from a pressurized hydrant or a dry hydrant, nurse, or set-up dump tank operations all depending on the situation.

Pressurized Hydrants

If a pressurized fire hydrant is available, SLFD will make a lay using large diameter hose for water supply.  All of our engines and tankers are equipped with 5-inch hose.  The engines carry 1,000ft. and the tankers carry 600ft.  Here are some of our basic rules: if the lay is over 500 ft., then a pumper is placed on the hydrant to pump the large diameter back to the attack pumper.  If it is a commercial fire then a pumper is always dedicated to the hydrant.  In long lays, requiring relay pumping, a pumper is placed every 1,000ft.  It is also a common practice in our department to make the max-flow hook-up when connecting to a pressurized hydrant.  If the pressurized hydrant is being used to refill engines/tankers, a pumper is always dedicated to the hydrant

Dry Hydrants/Static Sources

If the dry hydrant or pond is close enough to the fire we will make a lay of large diameter hose from the dry hydrant to the fire.  A pumper will obtain draft from the dry hydrant or pond and pump the large diameter hose back to the attack pumper.  Dry hydrants/ponds are used many times for refilling of engines/tankers (refill site).  SLFD will use the squirrel tail to connect to the dry hydrant or throw into the pond and deploy the pre-connect 50 ft. 5-inch section of hose.  A 5-inch storz by dual 2-½ inch manifold will then be attached to the 5-inch.  Two 3-inch fill lines will be hooked to the manifold.  Important note:  the manifold has screw valves to eliminate sudden water shut-offs. Our goal is to fill engines/tankers at 1,000gpm.  If the fill site is off the roadway, the refill pumper will connect the manifold and lay the large diameter hose to the drafting location at the pond.  This allows engines/tankers to refill at the road, thus saving time.  Note:  A pressurized hydrant can also be used as a refill site.  The technique is the same.


At times SLFD does conduct nursing operations.  Tankers and Engines are set-up with a front 2-½ discharge.  All attack engines have a pre-connected 50ft. 3-inch nurse line.  To prepare for nursing the engineer pulls this pre-connected 3-inch nurse line out of the hose tray and deploys it to the rear of his engine.  When the tanker/engine arrives, all the driver/operator has to do is connect the line to his front 2-½ discharge.  Our rules for nursing:  if the fire requires more than one 1-¾ hand-line then nursing is not advised.  Water supply will be made from a hydrant or dump-tank operations for fires requiring more than one 1-¾ hand-line.

Dump-Tank Operations/Shuttle

The first due engine at a fire that is not close enough to make a hose lay, will do what we call an attack pumper set-up.  The first due engine will pull in the drive-way to the structure and deploy his dump-tank to the rear of the engine, leaving the edge of the dump-tank at the road.  The driver/operator then takes his 6-inch, 10ft. section of flexible suction hose with pre-connected low-level strainer and attaches it to the rear intake using a storz connection.  The engineer does not have to install any adapters, all fittings are pre-connected.  The low-level strainer is placed in the dump-tank.  The next arriving engine/tanker then dumps his water into the dump tank using a 90 degree dump tube.  This set-up leaves the roadway open.  Anytime shuttling is required a responding pumper is sent to set-up a refill site at a pressurized hydrant or static water point.  Key notes:  Horn button on back of engines/tankers 1-stop 2-pump 3-go.  All engines/tankers have quick connect direct tank refills on rear of apparatus.  All rear direct tank refills are low enough so that firefighters do not have to step on the running board.  Engines carry 1,250 gallons of water and tankers carry 1,800 gallons of water.  All apparatus have rear jet-dump and all can be used to haul water.

Long Drive-Way Hook-Ups

Many times in rural areas the structures will be up a long drive or well off the road. In this case the first due engine drops the large diameter hose at the road and lays to the fire. The next due engine pulls just into the drive and deploys the dump-tank. This engine then supplies the attack pumper through dump-tank operations.  Shuttling is then completed as stated above.  All engines/ tankers then dump their water at the dump-tank at the road.  This saves time because all engines/tankers do not have to pull up the drive to dump water. If this is not performed then you will have a significant time loss while tankers are moving in and out of drive to dump water.

Click here to view our SLFD Water Procedures which has 30 images of the procedures.