At the end of June 2020, Cédric Mainville, Head of land operations, and Martin Mantha, Equipment and infrastructure controller, at Quebec’s Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU), welcomed WATERAX team members Mario Janson and Frédéric Lefrançois for a comprehensive on-site trial of the MARK-3® Watson Edition in Maniwaki. The goal was to run the new pump in field conditions as close to wildland fire as possible.
The choice of the site and the participants was exceptional! The setting and terrain were truly appropriate, but without the danger of exposing people to a real fire. Going into the trial the WATERAX team had 3 objectives:
- To confirm that the advantages of the MARK-3® Watson Edition resound with front line wildland firefighters.
- To familiarize wildland firefighters with the new platform.
- To determine if the MARK-3® Watson Edition is ready for deployment to fight fires.
The MARK-3® Watson Edition impressed all attendees. Firefighters who took part concluded that:
● The 16-lb reduction in weight is a major advantage for firefighters.
● The new frame and harness are very comfortable and easy to use.
● The pump is very easy to start (“it’s like starting a lawn mower”).
● The new purge bulb is a practical way to prevent flooding the engine.
● The LED with operation codes is a very useful addition that facilitates firefighter training.
● The performance was impressive (3 hose lengths with a ½” nozzle).
All four firefighters started the pump and got comfortable with it in record time.
We’d like to thank the team at SOPFEU for the opportunity to trial the MARK-3® Watson Edition alongside their team! Testing of the MARK-3® Watson Edition continues.