On April 25, 2021 the Baltimore County Volunteer Water Resources Committee held their annual Rural Water Supply Drill at the Towson University Complex in Churchville, Maryland. The Resources Committee provided all of the lead instructors and observers for the drill. It was hosted by the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company and their Auxiliary Division along with the Harford County Department of Emergency Services. The Bel Air Auxiliary provided breakfast and lunch for all participants during the day.
Approximately 175 personnel along with 35 fire units from Harford, Baltimore, Cecil, Carroll, York, and Lancaster Counties as well as military firefighters from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds Fire Department and Martin State Airport in Baltimore participated in the day long exercise.
All of these departments routinely respond together through the Mutual Aid Agreements in the area as a lot of the rural areas are not served by public water hydrant systems.
The purpose of the training is to prepare and practice utilizing available water resources to supply and sustain water on a live fire ground operation.
Two water sites in the area were established to supply and fill tankers that would then shuttle water back and forth to the main site at the university parking lot. Fire Police from the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company and Harford County DES assisted with traffic flow and safety at the water supply sites along the roads. Through a series of different scenarios portable water tanks were set up and filled by incoming units shuttling water to the site. They finished up with a total of four tanks being filled and maintained by crews. Eventually the water supply was maintained until a constant flow of 1,200-1,500 GPM was realized and hitting a maximum flow of 2,000 GPM at times. The exercise provided a lot of informative information to be shared and hands-on opportunities to try out different techniques to achieve the goals set up by the Committee. It was a successful training day for all involved.