Outram fire brigade firefighter Craig Brown (left) and station officer Kevin Brady with a tank on a farm on the outskirts of Outram. They are trying to identify the location of other tanks. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The Outram Fire Brigade is calling on Taieri residents and
farmers to help it compile a list of water resources in the
Fire officer Craig Brown said the brigade was hoping it could
develop a list of water sources on properties around the
Taieri, which it could have permission to access.
In a non-reticulated area without hydrants the brigade needed
other sources of water it could pump with the truck.
At the moment, the brigade had one fire truck that held 2000
litres of water, which, depending on the size and ferocity of
the fire, could run out in about four to five minutes.
It would be great to know exactly where to go for the next
load of water in an emergency, said Sgt Brown, who also works
for the Dunedin police.
An example of the problem was during a recent shed fire, when
a fire appliance from Mosgiel backed up Outram, and when it
ran out of water had to then search for a source of water and
ferry loads back to the fire.
It was not the ideal way to fight fire, and affected how
quickly the brigade could put fires out and therefore the
amount of damage that could be caused, Sgt Brown said.
''Speed is of the essence.''
If the brigade knew of all the places it could potentially
pump from, that would be better.
The brigade would like to create a database of where water
is, how much is there, and how accessible it is.
It is particularly interested in the middle Taieri area,
including off Huntly Rd, Centre Rd and the Otakia Area.
It was seeking property owners to come forward because
ideally it preferred to have access with the permission of
the owner, although technically it was legally allowed to
take what water it needed to put out a fire, Sgt Brown said.
Anyone who can help the brigade should contact Outram's chief
fire officer John Eaton on 027 434-2198.