The tank at the bottom of Sollans had its plumbing completed last week and the Chief was able to fill it by pumping it full of groundwater. That leaves only the tank at the top of Euston Road to be completed before all of our new tanks are in service.
For a list of all of our tanks have a look at the water supply page.
Our current airpacks or “Self Contained Breathing Apparatus” (SCBA) are almost 20 years old. They get used at almost every practice and at every fire scene and are showing their age. The maintenance required to keep them in service is becoming so expensive and time consuming that we’re looking at replacing them.
We brought in 4 different setups from the big 3 manufacturers: Scott, MSA, and Draeger. Using a 10 page evaluation form, 3 of our firefighters ran the air packs through their paces.
Every aspect of the packs were evaluated: Comfort, weight, ease of donning, changing the air tank, and durability of materials are only a few of the capabilities that we looked at. The results have tabulated and we are now in talks with the CVRD to move forward to the next step.
At our chimney fire call today, it was pretty obvious that the weather was not going to cooperate with us. The roads were slick and the snow was still falling. When we got back to the Fire Hall we decided to chain up the trucks. This is not a decision that we take lightly. It involves an extra hour of being on a cold, wet truck bay floor after the equipment has been cleaned and put back in service.
The chains are also hard on the floors, hard on the roads, and hard on the trucks themselves. Then, after the roads improve, someone has to return to the firehall and take them all apart again. All that work is worth it when we have to drive out on a cold, snowy slippery night.
In fact, it was only 30 minutes after we finished chaining up the trucks that we got our second call of the day. At that point all of the drivers felt pretty good about the time spent on the cold, wet truck bay floor.
We’ve replaced one of our ancient 18HP Hale portable pumps with a shiny new 27HP Kohler. Although it has twice the pumping capacity, it only weighs a bit more than the old one, and it so much easier to get running.
Here on Hornby we have no hydrants and water supply is a big challenge for us. What we do have around here is plenty of ocean water and a few ponds and lakes. Having a high volume portable pump improves our water supply situation immensely. We’ve been spending a fair amount of time lately, on our Thursday night practices, working with the new pump to ensure that everyone gets a a chance to become more acquainted with the new beast.