On Sunday, May 6, the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company hosted the Maryland State Firemen's Association (MSFA) Spring Rural Water Supply Drill. The day began at 0600 hours as Jarrettsville Fire Police set-up traffic cones at locations along Federal Hill and Norrisville Roads. At 0800 hours, apparatus from six Maryland counties (Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery) and two Pennsylvania counties (York and Lancaster) began arriving at the Jarrettsville Main Station. The JVFC Auxiliary welcomed the more than 140 volunteer and career personnel with coffee, juice, and doughnuts. By 0900 hrs, more than 30 pieces of apparatus had assembled in the parking lot, including units from as far away as Takoma Park, Mount Airy, Texas (MD), and Quarryville (PA). The goal of the drill was to flow a minimum of 250 gallons per minute for 2 hours to meet Insurance Services Organization (ISO) requirements for a rural setting.
Following some important instructions from the MSFA Training Officers, the drill started with a "dispatch for a structure fire" located at Rutledge Recreation Fields. Jarrettsville Engine 714 responded and upon arrival initiated an attack on the "fire" by flowing 250 gallons of water per minute (gpm). As more water and manpower was needed at the "scene," additional units were dispatched in three subsequent "alarms." Engines and tankers delivered their water to the scene and then refilled from ponds located on the Preston and Clear Meadow Farms on Norrisville Road and the Grimmel pond on Federal Hill Road. Units drafting from these ponds filled the apparatus which then drove back to Rutledge Field where it was dumped into seven holding tanks. Water was then continually fed to the attack engine which never lost water for two hours. Within 15 minutes the fire flow was raised to 750 gpm and five minutes later to 1000 gpm. Eventually a flow of over 1100 gpm was sustained for the remainder of the drill. Whiteford Engine 611 was also flowing water from their deck gun for various periods at over 1000 gpm. Approximately 175,000 gallons of water was flowed in the span of two hours.
When the drill ended at 1140 hours, units dismantled their drafting and fire suppression operations and headed to the Black Horse Station for a well-deserved lunch prepared by the Jarrettsville and Harford County Auxiliary and a debriefing by the MSFA and Jarrettsville Water Supply Committees. There were no injuries or accidents during the drill and it was an excellent training opportunity for everyone involved.
Thank you to all the career and volunteer personnel from Maryland and Pennsylvania who gave up their Sunday morning to hone their firefighting skills to better serve the citizens in their communities.