Having your very own swimming pool at home can be one of the best things ever, especially during the long summer months during which you want nothing more than to chill in the cool water, living life.
But here’s the problem with having your own pool: you need to take care of it yourself. And this includes filling it up with water.
Filling a pool up with water will take more or less time, depending on the size and depth, but on average, it takes a pretty long time. So either you have a really powerful hose, or you have neighbors with pressure hoses that are willing to lend you a hand.
Some people, however, look for a more dramatic solution to filling up their pool: getting the firefighters involved.
Obviously, firefighters have plenty of water, and plenty of powerful hoses, and they would be able to fill up your pool in record time. But can you ask them to do it for you? Is that even allowed?
Well, we’ll answer that very question, and a few more, so you’re aware of everything before you decide to rock up to the fire station and ask for them to fill up a pool. After all, you wouldn’t want to waste their time without having an idea of how it might go, right? Firemen are pretty busy!
Will firefighters agree to fill up your pool?
Okay, so let’s answer the question. Will firefighters be willing to fill up your pool with water for you? The answer kind of depends on the scenario, but as a general rule, it’s safe to assume that the firefighters will say no.
Not because they don’t want to fill up your pool for you, or because they can’t, but because they have plenty of good reasons why they shouldn’t.
Here are some of the main reasons why firefighters will not fill up your pool for you:
Their time is costly:
Firefighters receive most of their funds from the city council, and they don’t exactly have a massive budget to spare. All of the fire fighting equipment is pretty expensive, as is the fire truck, and all the crew.
This means that every time firefighters leave the station to perform a task, it is costing money. For emergencies and important services, this is completely justified. But they can’t exactly justify filling up someone’s pool as something urgent or necessary, right?
So as a general rule, they aren’t allowed to do this.
They are needed somewhere else for other more important reasons:
Firefighters don’t really have a lot of time to spare. When they aren’t answering emergency calls or fighting fires, they’re busy with plenty of other important tasks and jobs, and they rarely even have enough time to sit around and enjoy the day.
This means that they can’t exactly waste any time going to fill someone’s pool up with water, as that is the valuable time during which they could be doing something that is far more urgent and significant.
It sends the wrong message:
If it so happens that your pool is super close to the fire station, and you catch them during a period of time when they have nothing to do...they still might not be able to fill your pool up.
Mainly, because it sends the wrong message. Filing someone’s pool up once or twice might be okay, but if the word starts spreading, more and more people will start to think that they can just call the fire department to get their pool filled, and soon enough they will be flooded by requests.
The general public will end up thinking that this is one of the jobs firefighters do, and that’s completely untrue. After all, they have way more serious tasks to attend to!
There are plenty of other reasons, but you get the idea. As a general rule, firefighters will not agree to fill up your pool for you, even if it is doable for them to do as such.
In what scenario will firefighters fill up your pool?
Okay, so the general rule is that firefighters will not fill up your pool for you. But is there any scenario in which they might say yes? Well, actually, there is!
There are some fire stations (not many, but a few)that will accept to fill up your pool of water in exchange for a fee. Kind of like a private service that you can pay for.
The fire stations that agree to this are usually pretty underfunded, and they have the spare time on their hands, as they aren’t called on that often. Sort of like second-class fire departments that are kind of forgotten about.
By charging a fee for this service, they essentially raise funds for themselves and for the actual important services they can provide to the city, so that they may be of more use and be more capable when it comes to handling an emergency.
And sometimes, they will even set those funds aside to donate to charities related to fire fighting!
It’s also a way of justifying the service, as they are no longer simply doing it for free.
If the fire station accepts to do this, then the fee that they charge is up to them, and it will vary from place to place. Most often, they will charge around $200 for every 7000 gallons of water pumped.
So the price will go up or down depending on how big your pool is, and how much water is needed. Makes sense, right?
Just remember, this is definitely not the norm, and very few fire stations will agree to do this!
How to ask to have your pool filled by firefighters:
If you want to try your luck and check if the fire station nearest to you will agree to fill your pool up for a fee, how can you go about it? Or in other words, how do you contact the firefighters?
Well, the first and most important thing that you need to remember is that you should never, ever, under any circumstances, call 911 to ask about getting your pool filled. Sure, 911 can contact the fire station, but 911 is for emergencies only.
Filling up your pool is not an emergency, and you calling up that number is preventing someone else from getting through which might be a life or death situation.
So no calling 911, okay?
Instead, you can contact the fire station in question, directly. Your local fire department should have a phone number, and this is where you can phone to ask about the possibility of getting your pool filled up.
You can also check if they have office hours, or if you can go to the fire station directly and talk with someone there to ask.
Can you use a fire hydrant to fill your pool up?
Using firefighters to fill up your pool of water is a very small maybe, for a fee, but most of the time it’s a no, and for good reason. But what if you skip the firefighters altogether and go straight to one of the tools firefighters use out in the streets? Yup, we’re talking about fire hydrants.
There are fire hydrants spread out in different locations around the city, and they hold plenty of water that can be pumped out at a huge speed, as they are vital instruments used to put out fires. Could you use them to fill your pool up?
Technically...yes, with a fire hydrant you would be able to fill up your pool in no time. But should you? The answer is absolutely not.
This is for many reasons, but here are the main three:
You will not know how to use a fire hydrant properly. You don’t have the tools, or the experience, or the knowledge. You could get seriously hurt and injured if you try to use a fire hydrant, without being properly qualified, and the whole scenario could end in disaster.
The fire hydrant is there for emergencies, to be used by the fire department when they urgently need a source of water to put out fires. Filling up your pool is not an emergency. What if the fire department needs that specific fire hydrant, only to find it in use because you’re filling up your pool? It’s a huge no.
If they catch you using a fire hydrant without the necessary permission, you could be charged a significant fine, and you could even end up with a criminal record because of it. In most places, using a fire hydrant for personal reasons is considered theft from the council, as the fire hydrant and the water that comes from it is funded specifically for use by the fire department, in the case of an emergency.
Can firefighters take water from your pool?
We’ve pretty much established that you should not expect any firefighter to be willing to fill up your pool of water for you. But what about the reverse, what if firefighters need to take water away from your pool for their needs? Can they do that?
There are no established laws that give firefighters any right to use the water in their pool. But if there is an emergency and they need to, why on earth would you be against that?
Sure, you could complain about it, but you’re going to look like a terrible person. They need that water to save lives, you should be happy to help!
In some places, you can sign up to volunteer your pool water for these occasions. For example, in Australia, there is a static water program, in which you can register your pool or any large source of water, so that it may be used in the case of an emergency.
That way firefighters know exactly where they can get water from, without having to go too far away. There isn’t an American equivalent at the moment, but maybe in the future, there will be!