By Paul Shapiro
Battling a working fire requires many coordinated tasks to be successful. One of the most important parts of the overall strategy that has the potential to make or break an operation is being able to obtain adequate water delivery. Notice that I said water delivery instead of water supply. Water supply implies that we are interested only in finding the water. Obviously, that is half the battle, but what about getting the wet stuff on the red stuff? Isn’t that really the overall goal?
Producing adequate firefighting streams at large fires can be a complex operation involving the efforts of several people, numerous pieces of equipment, and hundreds (sometimes thousands) of feet of fire hose. Needless to say, there needs to be an operational plan to make all of this happen. In fact, a major water delivery operation is almost worthy of its own command structure.
To avoid freelancing and to provide for a structured water delivery operation, there needs to be a person in charge of the overall fireground water-delivery system–thus the position of water management officer (WMO).
The duties of the WMO are simple and yet require the knowledge of several areas of water movement on the fireground. The WMOâs sole responsibility is to manage the water delivery on the fireground at its present state as well as a possible escalation of the water-delivery demands.
Let’s take a look at some of the areas the WMO needs to be aware of. They can be divided into two categories: water supply and water discharge.
Read the full article on FireEngineering.com.