Deer Creek Fire Protection District in Deer Creek, Ill hosted a rural water supply operation seminar and 2 hour water drill August 15, 2010. There were 5 engines, 4 conventional tankers and 1 vacuum tanker involved. The vacuum tanker hauled 6 loads of water which amounted to about 30% of the total water used. "The key point is that 1 man did it by himself" quote from GotBigWater web site. The entire water drill information and pictures can be seen on that web site.
The fill site for conventional tankers provided a 2.8 mile round trip. The fill site for the vacuum was 5.9 miles. Although the vacuum tanker could have been loaded from the conventional fill site, the driver chose to drive the extra distance so as not to get trapped in the system. It obviously was the right decision as Firovac was the second tanker to dump at the start of the shuttle but the first one to return at the critical time when water was needed.
"Vacuum tankers are probably one of the most significant innovations in rural water supply operations." Mark Davis at Got Big Water, who provides a very comprehensive, helpful and reasonable class for water supply. His observations and suggestions for improvement and efficiency are very helpful to urban/rural departments. Fire, afterall, cannot be extinguished without water. It is also needed with foam.