"Urban Drafting Operations at a Chemical Warehouse Fire"

Fire Engineering publication had an interesting article in the November 2017 issue by Mark Rossi entitled "Urban Drafting Operations at a Chemical Warehouse Fire"

The Fort Lauderdale (FL) fire department responded to a heavy fire on arrival at a large warehouse.  Twenty minutes into the attack they realized they "did not have the volume of water (or residual pressure) to support the multiple aerials and ground monitors..."  Kudos to them for recognizing they could "draft from a large canal bordering the south side of the property to obtain the water to supply the ground monitors and ladder trucks."

"Realizing the drafting option was working well, and allowing engineers to dump thousands of gallons of water on the fire, command requested a second draft from the crew of Engine 29.  Both were succesful operations, but it took some thinking "outside the box" to get them in operation.  Drafting at this fire was far from a textbook operation."

Not every fire; city, urban or rural has a canal close but often water sources other than hydrants are in the area.  Preplanning water resources is extreemly important even where hydrants exist.  The article goes on to say "Obtaining a secure water supply starts and ends with discipline... Without water, fire doubles in size every 30 seconds.  Although not as glorious as actually putting out the fire, securing a water supply saves lives and property, which is in every firefighter's job description.  When water supply is neglected, it can result in greater property loss and increased dangers to firefighters.