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Harbour Island NEEDS fireprotection
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Page 1 of 1Total of 2 messages
Posted by:Dec 14th 2003, 02:58:21 am
Fig Tree News TeamThank you, John Doty!

Part one, recommendations for Harbour Island fire protection.

Please bear with me as there is a tremendous amount of information and it will take awhile to compose it all.

The Pumper/Tanker
1. 1500 Gallon holding capacity with a minimum of 750 gallon per minute engine driven pump.
2. Diesel engine (absolute). Gas engines for fire trucks is being phased out in fire service for good reason.
3. 3 - 4 inch truck mounted master stream
4. 1000 feet of 3-1/2 hose
5. 400 ft 1-1/2” Attack hose
6. 2 1-1/2” attack nozzles
7. 1 Gas engine run positive pressure ventilator (PPV)
8. 300 gpm portable draft “trash” pump.

Unless things have radically changed, the tank or pump distribution system throughout Dunmore Town and the rest of the Island makes me think hydrants, even if they are there, shouldn’t be regarded as anything more than tanker refill stations. In our rural area we didn’t get hydrants until 1995 so we became masters at tanker operations. We protect 3000 homes ranging from $100k to 1.5 mil. We still start with tanker op’s over hydrant because we found the hydrant attachment delay detrimental to early fire suppression, something only tanker op’s provide. We start suppression from the pumper/tankers and work our way towards hydrant connection. 1500 gallons will allow 15 minutes firefighting with one hand nozzle, or 7-8 minutes with two lines, and 1 - 3 minutes of master stream. We usually stop fully involved structure fires with 800 to 1500 gallons. Our department starts with master stream if the fire is through the roof or beyond the scope of hand lines. We use the master stream until 1/2 of the tank is gone (usually about 1 minute). The master stream “knocks down” the fire to a manageable level where we then attack with hand lines using a positive pressure fan (very specific training needed here) to blow the superheated gases created from combustion out of the building thus cooling the environment and creating visibility, two situations critical for hand line suppression. We have a total 3 ppv fans on our trucks. This link explains our position on ppv tactical firefighting .
On an island 1/2 a mile wide the reality of water supply is the ocean. In a perfect world, one where the insurance rates could be lowered, a second pumper holding a lay of 1000 feet of 6” LDH (Large Diameter Hose) with a 20 ft draft hose and a pump with 1000 gpm capacity would be dedicated to drafting the ocean after laying it’s hose from the attack Pumper to the water. Insurance companies start lowering their rates once a, for the most part, endless water supply of 1000 gpm can be supplied everywhere in the area. This is very difficult to achieve without a 1000 gpm hydrant system (all 6” lines or better). From a practical point of view a pump like the one would keep up with supplying the attack truck. It could be mounted on the truck and hand carried to the water and the 3-1/2” hose (# 4 above) pulled from the truck and with a lot of people, laid out to the water. The best way to lay the hose is for the driver to go to the ocean and lay the hose off the truck but the fire suppression delay can make the fire overwhelming. One thing the Island has is a lot of people always there so the bystanders could be put to use helping say one fireman set up the supply pump. Fire hoses are too big to be dragged, they have to be hand carried (or as it is call in fire service, “jacking the line”).
Well, these are some starting ideas. If you have any questions, please ask. In the next part I will address what is needed to keep the firefighters safe.

Some of what we use links:

1-1/2” attack nozzles we use STYLE 1720

Gas engine run positive pressure ventilator (PPV)

John Doty
Training Officer
Wheeler Fire Department
Fayetteville, AR
Posted by:Dec 9th 2003, 11:52:05 am
JDotyMy first trip to Harbour Island was in 1958. I was 8 years old. My father, a Denver banker, loved the island and we vacationed there every year until his untimely death 10 years later. After that time I lost contact with the Bahamas for almost 30 years. In 1995 I returned to sailing and purchased a 45 foot sail boat. Since then my family and I have sailed to Harbour Island numerous times.
During the 30 year interlude I started a wood manufacturing business in NW Arkansas shipping colonial architectural components nationally. My business was the largest fire threat in the community so I was roped into the volunteer fire department. I have been the Fire Chief of that department for the last 15 of the 18 years I have been on the department. During that time I became an EMT with the county EMS as a reserve staff member and I did that for 10 years. I resigned as Fire Chief last year but I stay on as the training officer.
The need for a fire truck and a volunteer department has been very apparent to me in my recent visits to H.I. I remember horrid fires and trauma on the Island numerous times on our visits in the 1960’s but the loss at Valentines was outrageous and now the sugar mill where I remember playing as a young boy with my native friends.
The irony of this is that in 1998 I tried to buy “Touchstone”, one of Mrs. Aubrey's listings, but missed it by 10 days. My wife and I wanted to retire there. My wife is a public school librarian and retires in 18 months. I was really very excited about the prospects of building up the fire department on Harbour Island. THEN, I started to run into strange things. As it would seem, and I hope I am wrong, the native population is not interested in outside help in the form of training and other non monetary assistance with things like the fire department. As it would happen I still know some of the Bahamian families (Angela Johnson) and I might find it possible to work around these attitudes directed towards non-Bahamians, but I debate on the idea of owning in the Bahamas at all with those attitudes and things like the government raising the boating fees over 300% and prices on everything becoming just outlandish. My boat is docked at Lighthouse Point north of Ft. Lauderdale. I have to agree with the boaters that are building a boycott the Bahamas campaign. This really is a very poor governmental action.
I know a tremendous amount about buying good used fire equipment on a limited budget and I will try my best to help you as much as possible. Nothing in fire service is cheep so some funding from places like Pink Sands (in their best interest) would be needed if possible. If the carport next to the police station where the “parade antique truck” was parked is still the fire station, any new(er) fire truck will need to be fully housed. Salt air kills fire hoses. One of my firefighters is a top Pierce Fire Apparatus sales person and visits hundreds of firehouses.

Sorry this was sooo long.
John Doty

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