22 June 2011
The Fire and Rescue Service is introducing a Hi Volume Hose Laying system to help fight wildfires in the Island.
Firefighting is challenging, especially over a large area, where the biggest problem is often the lack of water supplies. This can result in fires getting out of control and these can sometimes take many days to extinguish.
The traditional approach to this type of situation has been to send water carriers to the scene to provide water once the first fire engines have used their own supply. Unfortunately, with just 2 hose lines delivering 1000 litres per minute, supplies are gone in under 20 minutes - hardly enough to delay the wildfire’s progress.
Searching the fire industry for a solution it became apparent that the current systems available were too big, too complex and too expensive. The hose alone was estimated to cost in excess of £50,000.
The fire service asked the light industry sector in Jersey for a solution and Agri Co won the tender, producing a system that was simple to use, fast too work and at a price below £30,000.
The Hi Volume Hose Laying system requires little training and is reliable and fast to work. It is light and durable which will ensure it is a useful tool in fighting wildfires for many years to come.
Chief Fire Officer Mark James said “ This is a very impressive and cost effective solution to deploying fire hose quickly over a large distance. I expect that this innovative system will generate interest in fire services facing similar problems from around the world."
The fire service is particularly tested during the summer period when fierce, fast-moving countryside blazes can occur. These are known locally as "furze" fires. Furze can grow to above head height and has chemical properties that can cause it to burst into a fast-moving flame of furnace intensity. The fires present a significant danger to property, wildlife and countryside and with the wrong conditions life can be threatened.
Preventing wildfires (staying safe section)