The Mesa Fire Department may not have followed policy in filling a swimming pool at a private home Tuesday afternoon, but fire officials said any infraction was justified.
The crew hooked a fire hose to a hydrant in the 900 block of East Sorenson Street and ran the line across the street and into a pool in the back yard of the home about 5:30 p.m.
A supervisor at the scene said it was his decision to help the family even though it may "break some rules."
"We would not normally do this, but it appeared there were circumstances that if we did not get that pool filled, there would be some damage," said Capt. Ivard Brimley.
Brimley said that at one time Mesa allowed citizens to take home fire hoses for such purposes, but they had to pay for a permit and pick up the hose themselves. Mesa even had a hose marked for pool use, and there was a fee for its use. That policy, though, has been discontinued.
Apparently, the contractors working on the pool at the home on East Sorenson called a fire station recently and asked if the city still offered the hose service. The contractors were told "yes" by someone who did not know the hose service was no longer available, Brimley said.
In the meantime, the contractors had the pool finished, and they became upset when they were told they were not going to be able to use a fire hose — and the increased water pressure it would provide — to fill the pool, Brimley said.
Brimley and a firefighter who visited the house were told that if the pool wasn’t filled quickly it would damage the pool’s finishing job. The family had tried to fill up the pool using garden hoses but it was taking too long. So a fire crew was placed "out of service" and directed by their operations chief to help, Brimley said.
"They were directed to provide customer service because of a commitment made before by people who were unaware that a policy change occurred," Brimley said. "It really wasn’t special treatment."
At no time did the use of resources jeopardize public safety. Another engine crew was dispatched to provide coverage at the station, Brimley said.
The home’s owner could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Mesa City Council members called the incident unusual, but none faulted the fire department.