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Tahoe Douglas Fire News

TDFPD Fire Flow Initiative Program


boatIn March 2017, the Board of Trustees approved a Fire Flow Initiative (FFI) program with the vision to expand capabilities for water supply and water rescue operations, to provide fire flow to underserved areas of the district, and to provide an alternative to private fire pumps.

Fire flow is required for Certificate of Occupancy at a minimum of 1,500 gallons per minute for 30 minutes when existing homes are remodeled or when new homes are built. Our fire district has 128 homes located in areas where fire flow is insufficient. Underserved areas are the locations where there is inadequate (fragile water systems) or no water (no hydrants) available for firefighting operations. Working together with homeowners and stakeholders, the Fire District has created a Fire Flow Initiative to address alternative resources to aid in fire suppression.

An independent Fire Engineer Report conducted in 2016 recommended a combination solution of a fire boat, water tender, and fire sprinklers with monitored fire alarm systems in each of these homes. A separate fund in the budget was created to accept donations and to apply fees from the homeowners involved to sustain the program in the future. The FFI program will aid in controlling costs and in standardizing service requirements and operations of the individual systems. 

If you would like more information on the Fire Flow Initiative, please contact Fire Marshal Eric Guevin at 775-588-3591. 


new boatAs part of the Fire Engineer's recommendation, the District has ordered a new fire boat, which is currently being built to our specifications in Wisconsin. The new boat will be equipped with a Skyhook digital anchoring system and joystick steering in the wheelhouse and on the bow, which are safety features that make piloting the boat earier during an emergency response. It will be capable of pumping 1,500 gallons per minute, is designed to allow anchoring on the beach and connection to standpipes. The boat willl have a fast response time, as it will be powered by twin 350HP Mercury Verados capable of traveling up to 45 mph. Other features are GPS, sonar, search lights, and Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR). Fallen Leaf Lake Fire has FLIR on their boat which they have used to assist Search and Rescue efforts in the water and on land by locating missing hikers from the water with the infrared. It will also have a landing-craft door, which lowers into the water for safer rescue of victims.

A project team of firefighters reviewed specifications for the design, will continue to monitor the construction, and will coordinate training when the boat is delivered in November. The cost of the boat is approximately $500,000 and has been paid for by donations and fees from homeowners opting to participate in the FFI program. The manufacturer, Lake Assault, said that the boat will be well-built and if properly maintained, should last 20 years.


The boat will initially be docked at the Zephyr Cove pier in agreement with U.S. Forest Service and Aramark. Eventually, it will be moved to a new public safety pier; one of three approved by TRPA for Incline, South Lake, and the west shore - exact location TBD. The District will share the cost of the pier with four other agencies.


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