MISSION - The Mission Fire Department began its yearly hydrant testing around the city and now they have new technology in their arsenal to ensure the safety of residents. Firefighters have begun using Collector for ArcGIS, a new app courtesy of B2Z Engineering that allows them to input test information and update the location of each hydrant. The user-friendly app is accessible from any smartphone or tablet. Instead of using paper forms when inspecting hydrants, members of the fire department, or hydrant maintenance teams can manage the process electronically.

“This new technology will allow us to piece together a fire hydrant inspection report for the city swiftly and efficiently,” Assistant Fire Chief Robert Alvarez said. “It is a much easier way for our firefighters to inspect fire hydrants and record the results of the inspection electronically. We will be better prepared when we respond to a scene.”

The app and hydrant flow test covers a variety of inspection items, including checking water flow, residual pressure tracking and other important inspection and testing items. Regular use of the app helps ensure that the City of Mission fire hydrants meet NFPA standards for safety and makes it easy to identify when preventative maintenance is needed.

“It’s safety first. These hydrant flow tests are crucial because they are conducted to determine water availability in planning for firefighting activities,” Chief Alvarez said. “The tests are also useful in determining the general condition of the water distribution system. A well-maintained water system enables firefighters to extinguish flames and prevent large-scale damage.”

The application allows the City of Mission to have a current total of all the hydrants in the city as well as plot the hydrant locations. Upon completion of the hydrant testing, the mapping of the hydrants will be available on department tablets for crews to use when they respond to fires.