ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —The most important tool for firefighters is probably their hoses.
Because of this, it is important to make sure fire hoses are not in danger of rupturing, which can cost precious time when fighting a blaze and endanger firefighters.
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To test hoses, the usual method is for firefighters themselves to hook them up to a pumper truck, plug one end of the hose and check for problems.
But Ed Okinsky, a firefighter from Pine Beach, N.J., created an easier way. Okinsky developed an apparatus to pressurize and check fire hoses. He calls his business Waterway Services and sells franchise opportunities throughout the country.
In Moriarty, Keith and Amanda Henry have become the first Waterway franchise in New Mexico thanks to help from the Estancia Valley Economic Development Association. The organization helped the Henrys find loans and grants to start the business.
So far it's been working out well. Waterway of New Mexico has contracted with Torrance and Santa Fe counties to test hoses.
A demonstration of the testing method was held early last Saturday at the Torrance County District 5 fire Department north of Moriarty.
During the test, two lengths of hose were found to be damaged.
"That would have cost you at least 15 minutes at a site to replace that length," Okinsky told firefighters on hand watching the demonstration.
Copyright 2012 Albuquerque Journal