Merced firefighters don't let water go to waste during training

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Merced fire crews wrapped up some annual training on Monday, while continuing to be conscious of the severe drought. (KFSN)

Merced fire crews wrapped up some annual training on Monday, while continuing to be conscious of the severe drought. The training involved drafting -- the process of sucking water up from a water supply other than a hydrant.

Before, fire crews would let the water go into the streets, but now they use it for trees. Trees at Stephen Leonard Park are in rough shape. But Monday, they got a little help from Merced city and county fire crews, during some annual training.

It took about a minute to get a portable pool filled with nearly 3,000 gallons of water. But day three of training took a little longer than that, as the process of drafting, or sucking up water using a pump, was explained. But this practice was slightly different than in years past, as it usually takes place at empty subdivisions.

"And it wasn't as much focus on the supply on the water," said Capt. Josh Wilson of the Merced Fire Department.

"We didn't really care where the water went," said Battalion Chief Jeff Horta of the Merced Fire Department.

But in another dry summer, fire crews are opting not to let the water go to waste, but instead go toward saving trees at city parks, where there are watering restrictions.

"I mean we have to train, right, and if we can do a little irrigation at the same time, all the better," said Horta.

Wilson says he fears these trees may already be gone, but he knows what they're doing can't hurt. "Every little bit of water helps," he said.

And it helps set an example, these firefighters say, for residents, and hopefully other fire agencies across the state.

When the drought first started, hydrant testing went down to once a year, but now they only test those that are most needed, and that water goes toward landscaping.
Related Topics:
firefightersdroughtwaterwater conservationmerced countyMerced
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