Demonstration at Plainville VFD, NY
Demonstration in June at Plainville VFD, NY loading from approximately a 130' dry hydrant not often used by the department.
The answer to the above question is, YES! And to make it more efficient and provide a better pool of water to adequately supply Firovac's large load volume, a simple rock dam could be constructed. The versatility of Firovac is limited only by Imagination.
Demonstration at East Mead, Pa
While loading from a pond at a campground,  Chief asked if Firovac could load from the creek beside the pond. (See above picture.)
Set up staged at local farm provided in and out drives.
1100 GPM flow rate was maintained by South Central's 1250 GPM Pumper from primary portable tank.       Set up staged at local farm provided in and out drives.                       Water sources were dry hydrants approximately 1 mile north and 1 mile south.           Approximate distance from dry hydrant head to pond was 150 feet.                   5 Firovac vacuum tankers were involved:   South Central (Fredericksburg) - 1850 gallon   Wooster Township - 1500 gallon   Apple Creek 103 - 2000 gallon   Paint Township - 2000 gallon   Apple Creek 108 - 2000 gallon  
Northwestern Ohio Volunteer Firemen's Association (NOVFA) each year conduct fire related classes, such as officer development, agricultural accidents and methamphetamine labs, at Bowling Green State University.  "Mutual/automatic Aid Tanker Shuttle" taught by the Water Delivery Tactical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Ohio Fire Chief's Association the past several years has conducted classroom and hands on sessions.  Various scenarios, valuable information and things to consider are presented. This year Chief Jim Delman from Sunset Heights, Ohio spoke of his experiences with vacuum.  Belmont...
Fire engineering blog posted by William Knight on July 12, states "Motivated firemen face daily obstacles on their paths to improvement.  Some of the worst offenders are our own brothers, who, upon seeing our progress down the path to betterment, attack and belittle anyone who challenges their idleness and complacency." Comments like "That truck just doesn't fit in." or "We already have one oddball truck in our county we don't need another." or  "What if it doesn't work like they say it does." reflect this mentality.  Why are we often so reluctant to change or even LOOK at change?  Do we not...
I read with interest the article in September 2015 of Fire Apparatus  entitled "Dump Valve and Intake Options for Tankers and Pumper-Tankers" by Alan M. Petrillo.  The subtitle is "The trend toward carrying as much water as possible on a fire apparatus means there must be efficient methods of filling water tanks and getting the water out of them."  I totally agree.  The article goes on to say rightfully how fire service has addressed the dumping of water by realizing it is more efficient to dump into a portable tank verses pumping off (implied).  It provides examples of manufacturers using...
vacuum fire apparatus
Lupton, MI had been using a vacuum unit as a tanker before they replaced it in 1987 with a Firovac.   They were able to get water from a creek they previously could not use.   In 2003 they up-graded the compartments and added 3 air operated valves.   The unit continues to provide reliable superior service.  
Vacuum truck returns
In 1984 when New Pittsburg, Ohio fire department retro fit their 1971 International Loadstar chassis with a vacuum unit it was "not so much for the water it provides but for the personnel it saves".  The unit has just been retired after almost 30 years of work horse service because of the inability to get parts for the chassis brake system.  The doors from the original unit were incorperated into the body and although there were not a lot of "bells and whistles"  the unit served them well over these many years with very little maintenance required.  This is the first Firovac unit returned...
Water Source
      Morrisvale, WV's water supply is small mountain streams ar even ditches.  On 11-18-14 loading with a Firovac High Volume strainer with pan allows the strainer to set on the bottom of the stream to capture as much water as possible with NO cavitation or loading debris.           The water is loaded through 6" quick couple hose in the Firovac tanker.                 The water is then pressure unloaded into the portable tank.  No driving is neccessary, a very quick, efficient & safe way to supply water to a fire.  They call it "pump & dump".                 Plenty of water was...