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San Bernardino County Fire Committed to Conserving Water

( California’s drought is a nationally recognized crisis. Along with residential water users, emergency service personnel are feeling the pressure of mandatory usage cuts. But with new restrictions comes new, and responsible, ideas.

“Water conservation is a big area of concern for all Californians, we have to make saving water a priority,” stated Battalion Chief Darrayl Felgar.

San Bernardino County Fire is making strides in this direction by implementing a new method during its annual Engineer Exam instead of wasting California’s most precious resource. By utilizing a portable drafting trailer, County Fire saved almost one million gallons of water over the three days of testing.

For the first time, candidates are using water from the portable drafting trailer that can hold up to four thousand gallons of water and circulates the water back into itself. A Pumper Engine that acts as a fire hydrant attaches to the draft trailer and water is pumped into that truck. The candidate runs the hose from the engine to the “hydrant” just as they would if fighting a fire.

However, instead of discharging 1,250 gallons of water per minute into the air, the valve end of the hose attaches back onto the drafting trailer. This allows the candidate to still use accurate water pressure without wasting the water.

“As we move forward, we can take the drafting trailer to different divisions; saving water during trainings. The portable trailer provides more flexibility and mobility,” said Captain Dustin Krajeski. Along with the annual Engineer Exam, firefighters participate in several workshops throughout the year and multiple training exercises. “Just from the exam and the workshops, we’re saving almost three million gallons of water annually,” continued Captain Krajeski.

One gallon of water equals 128 ounces, or 16 eight ounce glasses of water. One million gallons is equal to 16 million glasses of water. Divide that among the two million residents of San Bernardino County and it comes to eight glasses of water. By using the portable drafting trailer for the exam, County Fire is saving enough water to provide every resident of the County with a full day’s recommended amount of drinking water.

Along with a permanent underground drafting pit at the Richard Sewell Training Facility in San Bernardino, County Fire officials decided to start using the portable drafting trailer as a way to save water. As the drought continues, County Fire is exploring different ways to conserve water, from training exercises to building maintenance and personal use.

It isn’t just firefighters who are conserving water, all County Fire employees are being reminded of how they can help; everything from taking shorter showers and running laundry machines on cold, to updating appliances to more energy efficient models. Saving water is everyone’s responsibility.

“This is our home too, we want to show residents that we’re doing our part to be good neighbors and conserving water however we can,” said Captain Ken Lewis.

To learn more about everyday ways to save water, visit Learn about San Bernardino County Fire at

(source: SBC Fire press release)

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