The Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department will host an all-department firefighting training on Saturday, Aug. 14 at its Faber Road Fire Hall.
This event will give Sproat Lake, Cherry Creek and Beaver Creek volunteer departments as well as the Port Alberni Fire Dept. an opportunity to work collectively on a few firefighting techniques, SLVFD Chief Mike Cann says. One of those techniques is the use of a “dry” fire hydrant, which is what Sproat Lake uses.
A dry hydrant, according to the SLVFD, is an unpressurized, permanently installed pipe that has one end below the water level of Sproat Lake. The other end is above ground and has a hard sleeve connector that allows firefighters to connect a fire engine to pump water directly from the lake.
Crews from all four departments will practice with the dry hydrant located behind the Faber Road Fire Hall. They will learn how to “draft,” or pump to get the water flowing. By contrast, Port Alberni Fire Department’s hydrants are part of a pressurized water system, and water is immediately available once they hook up their fire hoses.
“We’re the only department (in the Alberni Valley) that has dry hydrants,” Cann said.
Crews will also practice relay pumping, meaning about 600 metres of hose will be laid out along Faber Road. That will mean single lane alternating traffic sometime between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. between the fire hall and Stirling Arm Drive.
People driving in the area are asked to watch out for changes in the traffic pattern between those times.