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Allan Hancock College debuts water-saving "pump pod" training unit

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jan 06, 2020

Allan Hancock College's Public Safety Training Complex (PSTC) in Lompoc received a new piece of equipment that helps train cadets in the college's fire academy, while also saving millions of gallons of water each year.

On Monday, the fire academy unveiled the Direct Recirculating Apparatus Firefighter Training and Sustainability Unit (DRAFTS) Pump Pod at the PSTC.

The unit holds 1,800 gallons of water and allows cadets and firefighters to train in full-flow, high-pressure water operations including pump, nozzle, appliance, valve and firehose use. Developers say that due to it's innovative design, the unit can continually pump and recirculate the water it holds, saving millions of gallons of water annually.

"In the past, the water we would use in training would flow to the storm drains and go right into the retention basin," said Hancock Fire Academy Coordinator Andy Densmore. "With the DRAFTS unit recirculating the water being used, we can still give our cadets that very important training and also save millions of gallons of water."

The DRAFTS unit was designed and manufactured by Pump-Pod USA. The company also designed and built similar DRAFTS units for the Ventura County Fire Department and the Oxnard Regional Fire Academy.

As of November 2019, the company's DRAFTS units deployed in California provided 50 million gallons of recirculated training water.

"This is a unique piece of equipment that will allow Hancock's cadets to get their full-flow training in a way that is environmentally sustainable," said Pump-Pod USA Executive Director Bill Ward.

Hancock's DRAFTS unit was purchased using grant funds from the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office Strong Workforce Program.