Big fires need big water and the Errington Volunteer Fire Department (EVFD) wants to prove it can supply huge amounts of water fast in areas that have no fire hydrants.
Saturday and Sunday, the EVFD will host the Vancouver Island Fire Fighters Association for a spring training weekend that will include massive water shuttle operations. Up to 20 fire trucks from 27 fire departments on Vancouver Island will be participating in the exercise.
EVFD Captain George Klemm said the department is attempting to establish a commercial superior shuttle tanker program. In order to attain the new standard, the EVFD is required to perform a series of exercises including enabling the flow of 500 gallons of water for a period of a minimum of 60 minutes. On Sunday, crews will attempt to move water to a fire incident scene at the same rate that water can be moved with an accredited fire hydrant.
In addition to Errington’s participation Klemm said firefighters from neighbouring communities will be in attendance utilizing their own fire engines. “We have up to 20 trucks participating. There will be firefighters from around the Island taking part. Some are coming from as far away as Shawnigan Lake and Honeymoon Bay.”
Klemm said every single truck will be pumping water and they will be setting up the exercise as they would if there were a real a fire.
“We are excited about this endeavor and we want to minimize any impact that qualifying for this achievement has on our local businesses. As a result of the requirements to achieving the standard residents may experience some minor delays while trucks shuttle water to the site,” he explained.
Klemm said the area likely to experience traffic disruptions will be around Spunky’s Motorcycle Shop on the Alberni Highway at Fairdowne Road on Sunday afternoon between 1-3 p.m.