Hall County fire fighters tour docks at University Yacht Club on Lake Lanier

Chris Ferris, club manager for University Yacht Club, meets with Hall County Fire Services personnel Dallas Rwoland, Cody Long, Clinton Carey and Lt. Steve Durling on the docks at the club during a recent fire services familiarization tour.

An ounce of prevention goes a long way, especially when the potential for a dock fire exists. With that in mind, Chris Ferris, CCM, club manager at University Yacht Club, recently invited firefighters from Hall County Fire Services Stations 5 and 8 to tour the organization’s docks and slips.

“These two firehouses serve our marina and club and if an emergency happens, we want them to be familiar with the docks and grounds,” said Ferris. “They took the time to come out and learn where our power and water shut-offs are, to locate any necessary equipment or facilities we have on the property, and to give us information about how they will respond in an emergency here and what we can do to ensure our preparedness.”

Hall County Fire Service Lt. Steve Durling accompanied a dozen fire personnel on the first of three separate tours that will be conducted over the next week by each of the three shifts at HCFS.

“Fires on the water and on docks are very different types of fires,” Durling said. “From moving and isolating other nearby boats as quickly as possible to locating fire hydrants and assessing our best access to the scene, every second counts.”

Durling explained that getting water quickly to the location of the fire is a priority.

“Each fire engine has tank water. However, to put out a marina fire takes a lot more water than what a tank on a fire truck or two can hold. Our Fire Marshal’s office is currently working with local marinas to help improve our ability and effectiveness to fight these types of fires that can have such a heavy fire load and spread quickly. It’s efforts such as these that allow us to better serve our communities who live on and enjoy the lake.”

After the visit, University Yacht Club provided lunch for the firefighters.

“This is the kind of cooperation we like to see,” Durling said. “We’re not here to inspect; our job in these types of tours is to determine how to save precious time when we’re pressed into service. It is invaluable to be able to do these tours.”

Photo: by Pamela A. Keene