Cherokee County firefighters are busy this month with fire hose testing that is being held at the Cherokee Country Fire Training Center.
According to Field Operations Chief, Shane West, “Hose testing is a NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standard which requires us to do testing every year.” Fire hose testing includes the removal of fire hose from apparatus or storage. Labeling and recording of all information for each length of hose. Inspection of all fire hose, nozzles, couplings and appliances in accordance with NFPA standards. “If the hose fails, it is taken out of service and replaced,” added West.
Battalion Chief, Frankie Martinez, stated that the county has approximately 23 miles of fire hose that is tested each year. According to Martinez, “The testing process we use today began many years ago with retired Chief, Dan Floyd. Back then, we were just starting to establish a system not knowing it would take up to two months to test the entire fleet. Over the years, the system has been refined to the point where we can test the entire fleet within three weeks. Hose testing begins at 9 o’clock Monday morning and runs through Friday afternoon ending around 3 or 4 o’clock. At the end of the hose testing cycle this year, we will have tested nearly 60 engines including reserves.”
The hoses are tested for many reasons including safety and cost. “We want to ensure when we show up to a house fire that are members are safe and the hose will not burst while being used. In addition, testing the fire hose every year has shown to save on costs. By maintaining a standardized process, we have seen a reduction of busted fire hose on the fire ground and in training. The program’s success is due to the dedication of the men and women who come out during those three weeks of hose testing and to the foundation established many years ago,” added Martinez.
The hose testing began on October 5th and should be completed, weather permitting, by October 23rd.