Many people sat in traffic for a time on Longstreet Road in Willis early Wednesday afternoon. They got to watch North Montgomery Fire Department lay 8000 feet of hose, over a mile and then flow water through that hose to the tanker at a rate of over 750 gallons per minute in nine minutes and fifty-five seconds as the pumper crew drafted water from a cooling pond.

As the utility truck laying the hose at 35 miles per hour was making its trip to the tanker the engine crew already had water chasing it. At one point on a major hill in the road you could actually see the water in the hose start to climb the hill but unable to do so yet settled back as more water was continually being pushed into the line at two-hundred-fifty pounds per square inch.

When it made it to the tanker massive amounts of air had to be bled off before the tanker could switch from its tank water to the water coming in from over a mile away.

The entire operation was done under the watchful eye of an ISO auditor. Timers were running, cameras going and readings taken through the entire operation.

The word ending it all came as the auditor gave Chief Robinson the thumbs up. Chief Robinson, keying up his hand held radio, “Engine 92, shut it down and start breaking down, congratulations gentlemen.”

With the lower ISO rating that this brought to the district residents and businesses who were formerly more than 1000 feet from a fire hydrant were not able to enjoy the discounts the people less than the 1000 feet did. With this test and certification that distance has now been moved to 8000 feet from a lake or pond that the fire department is able to gain access to with their engine. In some cases this could reduce a homeowners policy 35% or more.

Other departments in Montgomery County are currently working for a better rating for their citizens. The best is a 1 which is held by major departments such as Houston, Dallas, San Antonio. In Montgomery County many departments now share a 3 with many going after a 2. Prior to this most of the departments were rated a 10.

Chief Robinson said his crews have over 700 hours training for this and it has paid off for the citizens of the district.

Just last week a lumber yard fire in Willis brought the North Montgomery County Fire Department along with several others. Seventeen minutes from the call 3000 feet of hose were on the ground and flowing on the fire. Calculations show over 105,000 gallons of water was used to extinguish the blaze and save most of the equipment and machinery.





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