Sparking Stronger Ties with Local Firefighters

A large fire tore through a stretch of downtown Louisville in 1840, fueling concerns about firefighting resources. City leaders’ fears sparked more support of creating Louisville Water instead of resisting the idea.

The Steam Engine Fire Department of Louisville formed in 1858. Shortly after, Louisville Water began providing an abundant supply of water that firefighters needed to douse flames and installed its first hydrants in 1864. The organizations’ longstanding relationship continues today.

Firefighter training

“We have their eyes and ears and then they know they’ve got our support. Our priorities are fire protection and making sure they have an adequate amount of water to do their jobs,” said Scott Corbin, Plumber Leader’s Assistant and member of Louisville Water’s hydrant service crew.

Corbin, Plumber Leader Chris Meeks, and Environmental Health & Safety Manager Dave Simmons made the rounds at several fire departments in the last few months and plan to meet with more.

Simmons shared Louisville Water’s rich history and overview of the water main system operations with firefighters from Anchorage & Middletown, St. Matthews, PRP, and Louisville Fire, to name a few.

Corbin’s lesson is more of a show and tell, using a fire hydrant cutout model to explain proper techniques to handle them so they stay in good, working condition. Firefighters rely on water to put out fires, but the hydrant team relies on firefighters (and the community) to notify them of potential problems.

“Leaks, ‘hard to turn’ valves, you think something’s wrong, in the wrong place, missing a head? You name it, we’ll take care of it,” Corbin told the group. “You let us know because if you don’t tell us, we have no clue (there’s a problem).”

Simmons says an open line of communication is valuable for everyone involved.

“Fire suppression is hugely important. With two hydrant crews doing all the servicing work and over 25,000 hydrants, it’s difficult,” Simmons said. “With all the other firefighters out there reaching out to us with the issues that they find, it makes it easier to hit things that need attention.”

From classroom training to hands-on training and feet on the pavement, Louisville Water property has been a hot spot for local firefighters.

Firefighter trainingThe Anchorage and Middletown Fire Department practiced high-angle rescues by rappelling and scaling walls at a former pump station. Meanwhile, over at the Crescent Hill Reservoir, recruits from the same department in addition to St. Matthews and Shepherdsville fire departments leveled up their fitness training.

Firefighters at Church fair

With lots of running and maneuvering the steps wearing weighted sandbags, you can bet the class enjoyed Louisville Pure Tap® to refuel their bodies.

We’re happy to share that some Louisville Fire & Rescue firefighters managed to squeeze in a little fun during October’s National Fire Prevention Month at the Redeemer Lutheran Church health fair. It was a nice opportunity for Louisville Water to show them Tapper’s book highlighting how water helps put out fires!