It may surprise you to learn that the West Grove Fire Company uses more than 14,000 feet of hose ranging from the 1" forestry lines up to our 5" large diameter supply hose and 6" soft suction. That’s 2.72 miles of hose which is carried on the WGFC fleet: 1 Brush unit, 3 Engines, 1 Rescue Engine, and a Tanker, each carrying a wide variety of fire attack and water supply hose.
To be sure all of that hose is safe to use and ready for all emergencies, every year the WGFC has all hose inspected and tested to the National Fire Protection Association 1962 standards (Standard for the Care, Use, Inspection, Service Testing, and Replacement of Fire Hose, Couplings, Nozzles, and Fire Hose Appliances).
Testing nearly 3 miles of hose is a complex, multi-day operation, because the hose has to be pulled off each truck, hooked to a testing apparatus that fills the hose to test pressure, and then repacked. And that means all trucks have to be brought to a central location from each of our three stations – all while keeping enough equipment and hose in service for any emergency that comes in during the test period. We take great pride in keeping our hose packed and clean to the best of our ability.
This year’s testing took place in August, and our firefighters worked well over 10 hours a day unpacking, cleaning and repacking all the hose in the intense August heat & humidity. As the hose was emptied from each unit, members also took the time to clean out every hose bed tray and floor on each truck. After the test was completed, all hose was packed back onto the various units. Several sections of hose failed testing -- this is why we test our hose. The failed sections will be replaced in the near future.
Our thanks to the CLC (Christian Life Center) in New London for allowing us to use their large parking lot this year. Normally, hose testing is handled at the WGFC New London Station. But a broken fire hydrant at our station meant we needed to leverage the CLC's nearby parking lot this year.
It is, somehow, always the hottest day of the year for hose testing, and 2021 did not disappoint. Our thanks to the firefighters who helped make testing successful this year, and for the hard work of the crew from our testing partner, Fire Catt Hose Testing.