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Firefighter Brian Gay, from Station No. 6, releases water from a truck at Eastside Park early Saturday morning.

City parks benefit from weekly fire truck testing

Lawton firefighters are keeping an eye on the environment as they test their fire trucks, and city parks are benefiting.

The Lawton Fire Department has begun moving its apparatus to city parks on Saturdays when firefighters conduct their weekly tests, because of the water involved.

"We were trying to do something a little more eco-friendly," said Lawton Fire Chief Dewayne Burk.

Burk said the department puts all its trucks through "pretty rigorous testing" each Saturday, testing that means, among other things, that all ports (openings through which water flows) are functioning.

"We pump the trucks full, then flow water through all the different orifices to make sure they are in working condition," Burk said, noting the weekly tests traditionally have been conducted in front of each fire station or in the apparatus bays, where trucks can attach to city fire hydrants to draw water for their testing.

The idea, Burk said, is to identify any potential problems in a test situation, rather than at a fire scene when response is crucial.

"We end up utilizing what is a pretty precious resource these days," he said, noting the public's perception is that the department is wasting water as firefighters allow that water to flow onto the ground. "They really don't understand what we're doing. We're doing a required testing process of the trucks."

The Lawton Constitution

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