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A Port-a-tank is a plastic or canvas container that we can dump water into quickly at
a fire scene. This tank allows the tanker trucks to quickly dump their loads and
return to our water source to reload. Usually a pumper truck then pumps the water
via 4" hose to the main pumper. The main pumper then increases the pressure and
controls the water flowing to the individual attack lines. It is possible for the
main pumper to also be pulling the water from the port-a-tank and not use the second
pumper truck but generally that would require the tanker trucks to back into a driveway in
order to dump and this increase in time between loads is unacceptable.
I'll try to look for some pictures around the fire house with the various tank setups
and post them here in the near future if I can find them.