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Wichita County Firefighters Conserving Water

<P>Water restrictions have some Wichita County firefighters curbing their water use.</P> <P>Restrictions started in Wichita Falls Monday.</P> <P>And, they're impacting volunteer fire crews in Iowa Park and Electra as well, since those towns get their water from Wichita Falls.</P> <P>Mechell Dixon spoke with local fire crews to find out how the restrictions are impacting them.</P>

Obviously firefighters need water to do their jobs and keep you safe, but mandated conservation efforts have fire departments curbing some of their water use.

And, just like in Iowa Park and Electra, here's how they're doing it in Wichita Falls.

When flames spark... water is a firefighter's best weapon, but in Wichita Falls, stage two water restrictions have everyone cutting back on this precious commodity; including firefighters.

We're not washing our vehicles. We're not testing hoses or testing fire hydrants at this time. That way we're not flowing any water... wasting any water down the street. We're just trying to do everything we can to help out," says Battalion Chief Daniel Hughes with the Wichita Falls Fire Department.

But could their help actually hurt... when danger strikes?

Fire officials say when it comes to fire hydrants and water hoses... it's possible.

"That way we're more comfortable that our hoses are in good shape and our hydrants throughout town are in good shape but we're in such a tough time right now that we're just gonna have to go with it and hope everything is good and that our maintenance over the years has been good enough to get us through this year while we're in these restrictions," says Battalion Chief Hughes.

Officials say testing their hundreds of hoses and flushing the city's thousands of fire hydrants requires using thousands of gallons of water.

But they realize conserving is crucial.

Wichita Falls fire officials are even having crews train without using water.

So while they're doing their part, fire officials say say the biggest help you can give is to be careful and keep fires to a minimum so firefighter don't have to worry about using too much water.

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