Commonwealth Journal

July 22, 2012

Dry hydrant helps firefighters work in rural areas

By SETH LITTRELL, CJ Staff Writer
Commonwealth Journal

Eubank —  

A recent partnership between the Eubank Volunteer Fire Depart-ment and a local resident has resulted in a new weapon to combat rural fires.
Tom Sutton, a Eubank man who owns a farm with a pond on it, worked with the local fire department to install a dry fire hydrant. The hydrant, located alongside the road Sutton lives off, is connected to a long 6-inch piece of pipe running to a 50-gallon drum located in Sutton’s pond. 
The hydrant allows fire crews in the area to quickly refill their trucks from a nearby water source instead of returning to the downtown Eubank area.
“We love it,” said Norman Rutheford, Eubank’s fire chief, “Out in rural areas, if we can put dry hydrants in like that, it really helps. It saves a lot of wear on the vehicles.”
Rutheford said the hydrant requires some extra training to use, because the water they are drawing from is not pressurised like a municipal fire hydrant is. The Eubank fire department has already done some training with the new hydrant, and more training will be completed on July 28.
“You actually have to teach the people to draft the water, to suck it into the truck,” Rutheford said.
Sutton, the designer of the pond the hydrant draws from, said it should be a reliable source of water for the surrounding farming community despite rec-ent weather conditions.
“The water lowered in the drought, but it’s still only down about three inches,” Sutton said.
Rutheford said he and the rest of the Eubank fire department are grateful to Sutton for letting them install the hydrant on his property.
“We’re actually looking to put some more in the rural areas,” Rutheford said. “If anyone is interested in working with us to install one, just let us know.”