GUTHRIE CENTER – Firefighting can be incredibly dangerous, time-consuming and resource depleting. Especially in a country setting. Now imagine doing so more effectively and with five times less water.
“It’s amazing how fast we can put out fires,” says Bondurant Fire Department Asst. Chief Rebecca Morris.
For rural fire departments, timing and efficiency is everything. “And we’re 17.5 miles to the edge of our district, the water shuttling, and water management is critical,” says Brady Langaard with the Guthrie Center Fire Department.
Bondurant’s Fire Department has been utilizing ultra-high pressure, or UHP, hoses for the last year.
Though met with skepticism at first, the results showcased at a recent summit have won over even the greatest critics. “When you see a car fire go out in 9, 13 seconds with a few gallons of water versus hundreds of gallons of water in half an hour,” says Bondurant Fire Department Asst. Chief Troy Harmison.
Now, Guthrie Center is about to do the same. “It’s huge for us. It’ll change a lot,” says Langaard.
It’s why Guthrie County invested $117,000 in grant money for the project.
Firefighters say it’ll save wear and tear on their equipment too. “We’re looking at like 15-30 years life span as opposed to every 10 years or so,” says Langaard.
Bondurant has already seen other benefits. “They’re able to get there faster because they’re smaller than the traditional fire trucks and they’re able to get up closer to the houses and we can start right away with fighting while we’re waiting for the other apparatus,” says Morris.
Harmison says,”When you’re using a lot less water, you’ve got a lot less water damage to the home, you’re able to see the burn patterns, it makes investigations a lot easier.”
In the end, all these upgrades mean the world to them. “Just makes our lives a whole lot easier.”
Guthrie Center will be able to start training on the new system in the next week or so. Once everyone on the squad is certified, they’ll be able to use it regularly on calls.