October 09, 2013 - 3:16 PM
PEACHLAND - A new state of the art piece of equipment will help Peachland Fire and Rescue Service protect the community during wildfires remotely and from anywhere in the world.
Known as a Wildfire Suppression and Protection system, the equipment that was delivered to the department over the summer includes a trailer containing over 1500 feet of hose and sprinklers, along with a cell phone and satellite technology that enables firefighters to operate the equipment remotely and offsite. The unit can be deployed to a location and fire personnel can operate the system from anywhere in the world. Battery power lasts ten days before needing a recharge.
As well, timing programs give the department the option of conserving water by allowing sprinklers to be turned on and off as needed. It can be hooked up to a standard fire hydrant and other sources using a pump that drafts water from pools, creeks and ponds.
"The main advantage is we don't have to tie up our firefighters to sit there and maintain the sprinkler system," Peachland Fire Chief Dennis Craig says.
He says the advantage to deploying the equipment and leaving the scene is it can be set up safely hours before an approaching fire reaches an area and turned on if and when it's needed.
"It's bigger than being just a sprinkler protection unit," Craig says. "We have future plans to make it a true structural protection trailer where we're going to add a portable pump inside and a 1,500 gallon bladder for water so when we go to fight a wild land fire we can take this trailer and not tie up one of our pieces of apparatus. It will have extra forestry hose, extra nozzles, all of our forestry equipment in there, so we can take the trailer and dump it off in an area and not tie up a truck."
The $24,000 expenditure was approved by Peachland council earlier this year. More information on the equipment can be found at the WASP website.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013