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VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY: Central Saanich fire pumps 23,000 gallons of water

Water surges through the valve at 200 gallons a minute, arcing into the air and misting down into trees. A slight adjustment and the mass of water surges a little farther to the right dispersing the soak factor.

A taught hose slinks up the driveway from the Central Saanich fire truck parked near Alec Road. The location isn’t a fluke, though the water will run downhill and flow into the water table. The properties in northernmost Central Saanich are the most rural in the district.

The volunteer fire department spent Friday morning keeping the flow going in a superior tanker shuttle system accreditation test administered by the Fire Underwriters Survey.

“There’s not many departments that have passed this,” said chief Ron French. “We have to go to the furthest distance in our community to do it.”

Salt Spring Island is the only other department in the region to have achieved this accreditation. Saanich fire members stopped by to watch the test.

It’s part of a bigger plan, including upgrades of equipment and the proposed new fire hall that has been in the works for a decade to achieve recommendations from an underwriter in 2001.

So they set up on Alec and shuttled water from new hydrants near West Saanich Road on Mount Newton X Road and Senanus Drive.

“We can empty the tanks in 12 minutes,” said chief Ron French. That meant two trucks shuttling water to keep the reservoirs full, supplying the third truck that pumped the water.

During the test, the two Central Saanich trucks shuttling the water did about 10 round trips and delivered 23,000 gallons of water to the test site. The success of the test means that the Fire Underwriters Survey will recommend to insurance underwriters a more preferable rate for rural Central Saanich properties.

Central Saanich fire hopes to have the accreditation in place within a week, as well as information on their website at www.centralsaanich.ca.

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