staff photo by phyllis zorn
Lincolnville fire chief Les Kaiser and Florence fire chief Mark Slater watch the rate of water flowing from a Florence tanker truck Saturday. Tester Casey Stephenson, of Salina, operates the controls as the water flow is tested.
Making sure the water turns on
The last thing firefighters — or owners of a burning home — need is for the water to fail during a fire.
Fire departments across the county tested tanker truck equipment this past weekend.
Pump testing is done to make sure truck equipment is working properly when firefighters pull up to a fire.
“It helps by identifying any problems the apparatus might have,” Lincolnville fire chief Les Kaiser said. “It’s better to find out like this than on a fire scene.”
Firefighters use tanker trucks to feed water hoses, and in rural settings sometimes use portable tanks to feed the tankers.
The primer is tested to make sure the equipment will hold a vacuum.
“That makes sure you can pull a draft,” Kaiser said. “They have to pull with a certain amount of pressure for a certain amount of time.”
Any tanker classified as a Class A truck must deliver at least 1,000 gallons per minute.
Brush trucks don’t require testing.
Casey Stephenson, Salina, owner of Stephenson Automotive, works with fire and rescue departments throughout the state, testing equipment to make sure proper pressure is maintained at different levels.
“My job is to make sure it meets or exceeds the performance that it had when it left the factory,” Stephenson said. “I ensure the safety and make sure everything works all right.”