West Penn, New Ringgold and Tamaqua fire companies routinely come together to test the limits of their response, water storage and pumps in the event of a large rural fire. In most communities, fire hydrants are readily available to provide needed water to a fire. But in most rural areas, firefighters have to rely on portable water tanks to hold water.

The temporary tanks are collapsible and designed for the reserve storage of transported water via pump trucks. Supported water tanks have a steel or aluminum frame and range in size from 600 to 5,000 US gallons or larger by custom design. They are carried on water tenders and are deployed at the scene of a fire during a constant shuttle operation.

These tanks enable tenders to quickly drop off their load of water and return to the fill site as soon as possible. They are designed to be set up in around a half-minute with only two firefighters.The engine may then use its suction hose to draft the water in the tank. In some cases, firefighters will stack water tanks together to allow for more water to be utilized.