Firefighters run through 'Water Shuttle' drills at VF Outlet - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Firefighters run through 'Water Shuttle' drills at VF Outlet Mall

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(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)

Firefighters from three departments ran through ‘Water Shuttle' drills Wednesday evening at the VF Outlet Mall in Iowa.

The drills help make sure they maintain their fire rating.

So what exactly is a ‘Water Shuttle'? Iowa's Assistant Fire Chief, Glenn Mott says it's when firefighters fill-up their trucks with water from fire hydrants, and shuttle them to a drop tank.

"And they come in different sizes; anywhere from 750 gallons up to about 4,500 gallons. And you just keep stacking water," explained Mott.

And on Wednesday, at the VF Outlet Mall, volunteer firefighters from Iowa ran through the drills along with LeBleu and Jeff Davis District 5.

"We usually always work mutual aid with them. That's our two closest departments, so we train a lot with them," said Mott.

While Iowa doesn't practice these drills often because they have a full-scale water system with fire hydrants everywhere, Mott says, "LeBleu and Jeff Davis are required to do water shuttles because they don't have the water systems."

Plus, every five years, Mott says firefighters in areas like LeBleu and Jeff Davis are tested on them as part of their fire rating.

And while all three fire departments aren't scheduled for a ratings test for another few years, they still say it's important to practice drills like this.

"We need to do them because in the event that we ever lose our water system, we're going to have to do one," said Mott.

So truck after truck, each department took turns reversing up to the drop tank and filling it up.

"We want them to see us training, we want them to know that their tax money is going to what it needs to be going towards," added Mott.

Mott says in order to keep communities safe, they're always looking for volunteer firefighters and encourage anyone interested to contact their nearest fire department.

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