Holmdel Township, NJ: Early Sunday morning, over 100 local volunteer firefighters from multiple northern Monmouth County fire departments participated in a large scale training exercise to practice the deployment of water “pipelines” at the former Bell Laboratories facility in Holmdel Township.
Starting at 8:00, two of Monmouth County’s seven Pipeline Strike Teams converged on the location and began to setup their operations. Each Team stationed pumper engines at the pond in front of the closed office building and started the process of using their pumps to draft water from the pond. At the same time, additional pumper engines deployed between 800 and 1000 feet of large diameter hose each in rapid succession. The two pipelines eventually stretched almost a mile encircling the large office building and terminated atop two large ladder trucks.
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According to Pipeline 7’s coordinator, Middletown Township Fire Department Ex-Chief Doug Corbet, water was flowing out of the pond and through the lengthy pipeline within 30 minutes. “It is pretty much physically impossible establish a pipeline over that distance any quicker” observed Chief Corbet. Once fully established, the pipelines maintained a constant flow of over 3,000 gallons a minute from the pond through hose lines and out the nozzles at the top of the ladders, Chief Corbet reported.
Middletown Township Fire Department Third 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 were units from Holmdel, Hazlet, Union Beach, Keansburg, Cliffwood Beach, Matawan, and Rumson fire departments. Also assisting with the event were the Middletown Township Fire Police and Port Monmouth First Aid Squad.
Photos courtesy of Middletown Township Fire Department photographers Laurie Kegley and John Isaksen