Grand Haven firefighters are using 'hosing houses' for dune fires. (March 27, 2013)
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- People who live high up in the dunes along Lake Michigan in Grand Haven can soon rest a little easier. Firefighters say the homes in the Highland Park Dune area are difficult to access, but now the city has a solution called "hosing houses."
"The geography is very challenging to reach with our fire trucks," says Jeff Hawke, Grand Haven Director of Public Safety.
Ted Poulton lives near the top of the Highland Park Dune area. "Even for houses that are not at the top here, if a fire gets started, you don't know where it's going."
Now, city leaders plan to install hosing houses-- equipped with hoses, attack lines, and a fire ax-- strategically placed at the highest elevations.
"Rather than dragging all this equipment up the hill from a fire truck which is connected to the hydrant at a lower elevation, the firefighters will be able to drag the supply line down the hill," says Hawke. Firefighters say it can save several minutes. "It means quicker response time, it means far less strain in getting water on the fire," says Hawke.
"They will actually have the tools,the water pressure, to fight the fire, without it, it's another big question mark," says Poulton.
The hosing houses will cost $70,000, compared to the cost of a new piping system, which runs about a quarter of a million dollars. The project should be done by this summer.