Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Water Tender is gone

"A" water tender, not "our" water tender
For the first time in 50 years Wonder Valley is without a water tender. The old one that we had was on its last legs with more than a million miles on its odometer. It was a behemoth and with a gear box that made it nearly impossible to drive, but it was OUR water tender.

We learned that we lost the water tender at last Saturday's Community Meeting. I talked with Assistant Chief, South Desert, Tom Marshall at last night's MAC meeting and he said they are replacing the water tender with a newer, better one that will be housed at the Twentynine Palms Fire Station. The water tender should be able to get to a fire in Wonder Valley within 10 minutes. Assistant Chief Marshall affirmed that he was doing the best thing for the Community of Wonder Valley.

It is important to consider that we have a 2-person fire station with one captain and one firefighter/paramedic at any one time. These two take the brush patrol truck to any event - fire or medical. It takes two people to operate the brush patrol at a fire. We do not have the manpower at Station 45 to respond with a brush patrol and a water tender. We have depended on Twentynine Palms and the Base to back us up with a water tender.

Residents at the meeting were very upset to hear that we no longer had a water tender. James Copeland, a former assistant fire chief of the Wonder Valley Volunteer Fire Department, described the water tender as our portable fire hydrant, and said that without it we are basically without fire coverage.