By CARL SMITH
Oktibbeha County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan and a few members of East Oktibbeha County Volunteer Fire Department spent Friday testing their new toy — a recently acquired tanker unit — at the city lagoon on Sand Road.
Firefighters hooked the new unit’s pumping mechanism up to the treated water pool to test the tanker’s water-delivering specifications. Rosenhan said the unit performed better than expected during Friday’s test.
“The unit is spec’d for 750 (gallons per minute) at 150 (pounds per square inch; we got it up to over 1,000 gallons per minute,” he said. “To start off at that number is a real plus for this equipment.”
The unit was acquired with a $220,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the U.S. Fire Administration. The grant paid for 95 percent of the cost while county fundraising efforts covered the remainder.
The tanker will be used as a secondary firefighting vehicle, ferrying water to frontline firefighting apparatuses. Rosenhan said this tanker is the first one in the county equipped with a mechanical pumping system. The rest, he said, are gravity dependent.
“Water is the basic weapon of firefighting. In rural operations, we don’t have the luxury of relying on fire hydrants like the ones in the city,” Rosenhan said. “This unit will help us deliver an adequate stream in any situation and will be a valuable tool in county firefighting.”