BELFORD, NJ - Early Sunday morning, over 100 local volunteer firefighters from Middletown Township Fire Department participated in a large scale training exercise to practice the deployment of water a “pipeline” at the Belford Ferry Terminal in Belford, NJ.
Starting at 7:45am, the Middletown Township Fire Department Pipeline Strike Team (Monmouth County’s has seven Pipeline Strike Teams) converged on the location and began to setup their operations. Two pumper engines positioned themselves adjacent to the pier and started the process of using their pumps to draft water from the Sandy Hook Bay. At the same time, additional pumper engines deployed 800 feet of large diameter hose (5" hose) in rapid succession. The pipeline eventually stretched approximately 6,400 feet (1.2 miles) through the terminal parking lot terminating atop two large ladder trucks.
According to Pipeline 7’s coordinator, Middletown Township Fire Department Ex-Chief Doug Corbet, water was flowing out of the ocean and through the lengthy pipeline within 25 minutes. “It is pretty much physically impossible establish a pipeline over that distance any quicker” observed Ex-Chief Corbet. Once fully established, the pipelines maintained a constant flow of over 1,400 gallons a minute from the Sandy Hook Bay through hose lines and out the nozzles at the top of the ladders, Ex-Chief Corbet reported.
Middletown Township Fire Department First Assistant Chief Tony Citarella declared the drill a huge success. “We didn’t do everything right this morning, which is OK” said Chief Citarella. “After the drill is over, we all get together and identify what was done right, and more importantly, what went wrong”. Chief Citarella added “We are always looking to learn from our mistakes and make corrections so that we can do thing better and safer the next time around”.
Participating in the drill the Middletown Township Fire Department Pipeline Strike Team, Middletown Township Fire Department Fire police and Field Communication Unit and the Port Monmouth First Aid Squad. Units from Atlantic Highlands, Keansburg and Red Bank were on standby to provide coverage in the event of call while the training was in process.