In the great pump debate, both Gary Handwerk and Mike Farrell defended their points well, but Mr. Farrell seems to shed the most light on the situation.
Whether pro or con, the argument comes down to three simple points: location, location, location.
Mr. Farrell argues that bigger pumps are probably better utilized by “our rural brethren,” since they will be more apt to pump longer distances, using 5-inch hose from a draft point. Point well made, Mr. Farrell.
It is reasonable to contend that a city fire department will have a well-established hydrant system.
It is more likely that a rural fire department will rely on a water shuttle and relay pumping operation, but to make a blanket statement that big pumps are a waste of the taxpayer’s money is not true. It would be a waste for the citizens of a huge city, yet quite reasonable for the folks out in the sticks.
Additionally, city departments replace vehicles at a faster rate than rural fire departments. In our predominately rural fire district, we replace apparatus on a 30-year rotation.
A perfect example is do we need our newly purchased 100-foot ladder truck. It is not necessarily needed today, but 15 years from now our district might have structures where this apparatus will be useful.
The question of big pumps over small pumps comes down to planning for the future – what is needed today, and most importantly, how we can provide the best possible service to our customers.
Editor’s Note: Bill Brown is a lieutenant with the Wellington (Ohio) Fire District.