For Immediate Release
August 06, 2010
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The City of Boston is purchasing a new state of the art fireboat with Chemical, Biological and Radiological emergency response capability for the Boston Fire Department. This new vessel will replace the current fireboat “FIREFIGHTER” which has been in service since 1972 and does not have the capabilities needed for a modern emergency response fireboat. “Purchasing a new fireboat will greatly enhance public safety in the City and in Boston Harbor and I commend Commissioner Fraser and his staff for their hard work on this issue,” stated Mayor Thomas M Menino.
The new fireboat will be a high speed aluminum vessel with a maximum speed of 35 knots (approximately 40 MPH) and will be capable of pumping 12,000 gallons of water per minute. “The new fireboat will be more than twice as fast as FIREFIGHTER and will be able to pump twice as much water,” says Commissioner Roderick Fraser, “it will also have state of the art navigation systems as well as water jet propulsion and is designed to operate in a chemical or biological contaminated environment. This boat is light years ahead of the current fireboat and will greatly enhance our response capability anywhere in Boston Harbor.”
The new fireboat will be 69 feet long, and will be built by Metalcraft Marine, Inc. of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Metalcraft Marine specializes in designing and building high speed custom aluminum work boats. It has recently built fireboats for Seattle WA, Tampa, FL, Miami, FL, Jacksonville, FL and the State of Rhode Island. The City received two grants from the Department of Homeland Security for $2 million towards the construction of this vessel with the remaining $2.2 million funded by the city through the Fire Department’s capital plan.
The vessel will be named “John S. Damrell” after the former Chief Engineer of the Boston Fire Department who battled Boston’s Great Fire of 1872 and who later became Boston’s first Inspector of Buildings during the 1880’s. Damrell was instrumental in bringing great improvements to the fire service as well as being instrumental in creating modern building codes at the national level. The City expects to take delivery of this vessel in August of 2011.