KENILWORTH – With the Mount Forest water tower being emptied for rehabilitation work, including a new interior liner and exterior painting, Wellington North Fire Services has come up with contingency plans and revised protocols.
The emptying of water from the tower renders local hydrants without supply and water pressure for fighting fires.
Fire services staff have met with the project team, developing an alternative fire services plan for the community, including an alternative water supply, contingency plans, and revised service protocols.
Wellington North and Minto Fire services director Chris Harrow, responding to emailed questions from the Advertiser, said similar plans were implemented in 2022, when Palmerston’s water tower was taken offline.
There were “no service interruptions to our residents,” Harrow wrote, adding, “We anticipate the same outcome this summer.”
The service will use water sources from around Wellington North, with the main source located at Mount Forest’s Murphy Park.
Harrow said urban fire calls will now be run as if they were rural — employing “tanker shuttles” filled at a water source and driven, or shuttled, to the scene of a fire.
Because of the change in how urban fires will be fought, the service has moved “a couple trucks around,” Harrow said.
Depending on the size of an emergency, Harrow said, nearby services will provide support, “the same as we would do with a rural incident.”
“Internal plans” and “internal policies” that firefighters follow when called upon have been reviewed, Harrow said, but he had no additional detail that could be made public.
The director emphasized the practical impact to the service “really is just bringing rural firefighting into the urban area for a couple of months.”