Sacramento Metro Fire District engines 24 and 103 visited American River College morning to practice emergency procedures and test the standpipe water system in the ARC parking structure.
Because fire engines are too large to drive into the garage, Captain Matt Owston said the parking structure uses a standpipe, which pumps water through the structure itself to multiple nozzle locations on every floor. In emergency situations, firefighters can carry up a 100-foot hose and attach it to one of the nozzles in order to put out a fire within the structure.
“If there’s a fire in the parking garage and there’s a lot of smoke, a lot of hazards, a lot of stairs and the elevator won’t work,” Owston said. “The standpipe is the pipe that basically supplies water to all the different nozzles … so we bring our own hose and then we can put out a car fire.”
On the top floor of the garage, Tyler Smith guided firefighters Jake Bartlett and Gabriel Gomez in testing one of the nozzles and controlling the water pressure. The standpipe can pump out around 200 gallons of water per minute, according to Smith.
“One hundred feet of hose can reach anywhere,” Smith said. “It’s all on one system. We just flow that one system and we can get water anywhere.”
Smith said they try to do a training drill every week. Owston said these types of drills help firefighters prepare for more unusual situations like car fires in the parking structure.
“We don’t get these types of scenarios all the time,” Owston said. “So we do these drills for [firefighters] to advance themselves and learn.”
According to ARC Public Information Officer Scott Crow, fire drills at ARC will continue next week on Tuesday and Friday.
“During the drills the Los Rios Police Department and college officials will assist you with: exiting the building, assembling a safe distance away, waiting while the building is reviewed, and giving you the all clear to reenter the building,” Crow wrote in a faculty email yesterday.
Crow said depending on their schedule, students may participate in multiple drills. The Los Rios Police Department lists emergency evacuation procedures on their website.