Nevada Director of Fire and EMS Ray Reynolds is expecting at least 100 attendees this Friday evening and Saturday for a training event that will cover fire attack using ultra high water pressure.

The event, which will involve at least 85 firefighters and other city leaders, will begin at Gatherings in Nevada on Friday evening, and will continue all day Saturday, with actual firefighting exercises at the Mike Doty property southeast of Nevada on 260th Street.

Reynolds shared a bit about the upcoming training event with the Nevada City Council on Monday. It all started, he said, when he attended the annual Fire Rescue International conference earlier this year and came upon a unit for ultra high pressure firefighting. “I looked at that unit and thought, ‘I bet that would work really good on stover fires,’” which Reynolds and professionals at DuPont and at Iowa State had been studying this year.

The company that made the unit, HMA, came to Iowa and worked with Reynolds and professionals in this area on stover fire research.

Reynolds and another Nevada officer and firefighter, Ryan Hutton, also attended an ultra high water pressure training event with the fire department at Middleton, Wis., where they learned a lot more about the new technology of fighting fires this way.

Basically, Reynolds said, with the ultra high water pressure unit, each drop of water is turned into about 100 drops a water. At Middleton, he and Hutton had the opportunity to use the unit to fight a fully engulfed car fire. “We put it out in 35 seconds with 15 gallons of water,” Reynolds said. “I’ve been on car fires with a fire engine, where we sprayed 500 to 700 gallons of water and it’s taken several minutes to put out.”

The new technology that is introduced with ultra high water pressure has many benefits, Reynolds said. For one thing, it uses much less water. The unit can also be transported to a scene with just a quick response unit, rather than a huge fire engine. “This thing could be a new thought process for a lot of communities who are looking to replace aging fire engines and maybe would rather put in a quick response unit,” he said.

The new technology does require a new attitude among those with decades’ old ways of fighting fires, but Reynolds said the fact that he’s being allowed to explore it in Nevada is a testament to this community. “That we’re willing to look at things and test them…it’s a credit to us being versatile and flexible,” he said. And he said Director of Public Safety Ric Martinez has been a strong supporter of helping keep Nevada as updated as possible. “He’s really focused on our department leading the latest in research technology and training; we’re not short on training … (or) on being on the front end of a lot of issues (that involve better ways of doing things).”

Reynolds is excited about what this weekend will bring. “The classroom on Friday night is the convincing part — we will show the science behind this.”