Bono fire truck used to fill firefighter’s pool without authorization

Published: Jul. 2, 2012 at 5:15 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:48 AM CDT
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BONO, AR (KAIT) - With the hot dry conditions that are everywhere in Region 8, fire departments have to be ready to roll at a moments notice.

But after a viewer sent us a couple of pictures, we looked into the Bono Fire Department's improper use of their equipment.

Bono Fire Chief Whit Edwards now has to deal with whomever used a fire truck to fill up a backyard swimming pool.

"We did not authorize the use of a fire truck to fill a swimming pool at this time." Chief Edwards said.

We showed him two pictures that were sent to us from a viewer. They showed a fire truck backing into a yard and then the tanker filling a pool in the same yard.

We asked Edwards, "Is that your fire truck being used to fill the swimming pool?"

He looked at the pictures then admitted that, "Yes that is our tanker truck here at the Bono Fire Department."

This tanker that was used carries 3,000 gallons of water and takes about 15 minutes to fill up. The pool in the pictures uses about 1,500 gallons of water or about half a tank load.

Edwards "With the severe drought conditions that we are under now, we want all our equipment sitting on a hundred percent ready to go."

The Bono department has 6 trucks of various types but only one tanker. Edwards went on, "The tanker being used to fill a pool, that would have lagged our response time.So that's absolutely unacceptable."

To fill a pool in Bono requires the mayor's approval. Edwards says they have used a truck to fill a pool before but it costs the pool owner.

"We'll put a flow meter on it and charge the individuals that we fill the pool for the water usage, no sewer involved in it just the water usage."

That policy also goes for homeowners when they use a hose to fill their pools. The city monitors the usage and charges just for water used.

We went to the home where the fire truck was used to fill the pool.

We spoke with a resident who did say that Edwards had given his permission for the pool fill.

Again Edwards says he did not give permission. "It was an unauthorized use of a vehicle."

Chief Edwards says now it is a matter of discipline.

"We'll make sure we have all the individuals involved and most likely there will be dismissals from the department for unauthorized use."

Under current drought conditions, check with your local water department before filling up any large pool to see if it's even allowed.

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