Local Fire Departments Take Part in Special Drill

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Firefighters from Rector, Greenway and Marmaduke took part in the drill, and are pictured pumping water into the temporary tanks with the MFD pumper.
TD photo/Jane Gatewood

Rector Fire Department has taken a proactive stance and has made a strategic plan for providing fire safety for the citizens of the community during the months the city’s water tower will be out of service for needed repairs and refurbishment. The plan because is necessary since water pressure to fight a large fire will not be available.

Rector Fire Department regularly works with Marmaduke and Greenway Fire Departments. Should a major fire catastrophe occur within Rector’s service area, the Kennett Fire Department, which will be on stand-by, will be summonsed to join the other three units. When a call comes in for the Rector Department, “the call will be dispatched to Marmaduke and Greenway and they will roll immediately,” said RFD Assistant Chief Steven Sigsby. “Kennett’s department agreed to assist when asked. They also have a tool that allows three dump tanks to operate together,” continued Sigsby.

On Thursday, July 20, during an excessive heat warning for Clay County, Rector, Marmaduke and Greenway trucks and firefighters joined forces at the parking lot at the Rector football field, across from Glen Sain GMC. The plan was to practice setting up and pumping water from multiple dump tanks, like above ground swimming pools, through to Marmaduke’s pumper/telescoping ladder truck to continuously spray a powerful stream 70 to 80 yards or more.

The crews pulled together two tanks, one from Rector, one from Marmaduke, and filled each from their pumper trucks and from Greenway’s truck. They syphoned from one tank to the other as water was pumped through the Rector truck to the Marmaduke ladder truck. The goal of the training and practice exercise was to determine how much water could be pumped in this manner, how far the spray would reach and for how long.

When the Rector truck emptied its 2,000 gallons into the dump tank, it left for Graves Gin at Hargrave Corner, where the truck used Clay County water system to refill the tanker and return to the scene. The exercise’s goal was to determine the length of time to refill the tanker and have it return to the dump tanks.

Several complications arose and the crews learned what techniques work best in various situations. During the exercise, Rector fire chief Huston Bowden and Sigsby coordinated the plan. Firemen Nicki McDowell and Matt Pruett from Marmaduke joined in the decision-making. The exercise was successful and the fire departments gained much information from the hands-on activity.

All the departments agreed that each crew needed the practice exercise and the training. Each remarked they were pleased to have such a close working relationship with the other. Sigsby shared that much was learned and another exercise is planned in about 10 days, this time using three dump tanks and the Army Surplus truck which will be refurbished to hold 2,000 gallons of water.

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