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New Fireboats for the FDNY

The new Fast Response Fireboats boats will provide the New York City Fire Department's Marine Division with the latest and most up to date technology available. Each of the two Fireboats will have the capability of pumping 50,000 gallons per minute providing these Fireboats with the greatest pumping capacity of any Fireboat in the world.

The need for this increased pumping capacity was graphically displayed as FDNY's existing fireboats supplied the only water available for many days after the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. However, the technological advances of these new boats do not end there. The boat’s original design by Robert Allan LTD. of Vancouver, B.C. (www.ral.bc.ca) will catapult FDNY's Marine Division into the twenty first century and beyond.

Because of the very real threat of additional terrorist attacks after 9/11/01, the boats will also be capable of protecting firefighters from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear agents (CBRN). While performing in any of these hostile environments, the crew will be protected in a pressurized area that will also have it's air supply filtered by special charcoal and HEPA filters. Assistnace on the design of the CBRN system was provided by engineers from the U.S. military's Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense and Naval Sea Systems Command. United State Navy.

 

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Another ingenious feature of these vessels is the addition of a forward ballast tank which will, in affect, allow the boat to lower itself in the water in order to match its deck level with that of the large Staten Island ferries which travel the waters of New York harbor. This will permit easier boarding of the ferry by Firefighters and other emergency responders and will also facilitate the safe transfer of passengers to the fireboat should the ferry need to be evacuated. The Fireboat's normal deck level will be higher to allow the vessel to achieve its maximum speed without having its decks wet during its forward movement.

The addition of a small rescue boat, which can be easily deployed from a ramp in the stern of the fireboat, will allow for fire operations and rescues in the many shallow waters in and around New York City. This ramp, as well as a dedicated stern platform and diver retrieval ladder, will enable this new Fireboat to also act as a dive boat for FDNY SCUBA divers.

Decontamination and first aid will be handled by use of a de-con shower area that will lead to a triage and first aid station. The Fireboat design will enable it to respond with as many as 27 land based Firefighters within an enclosed area out of the elements. These Firefighters would be ferried to the ship fire or other emergency.

Included in the design is a command and control area where Chief Officers will be able to monitor and direct the operations with the aid of remote cameras and a large array of state-of-the-art communication equipment.

A large ladder/crane with a bucket attached will allow for equipment and personnel transfer to the deck of a ship when sea conditions permit. This bucket will also offer water/foam monitors, flood lights, and a closed circuit video camera which can all be operated remotely from the deck of the Fireboat. The camera feed will allow the operator of the crane to view the deck of the vessel on fire in order to direct the monitor streams down onto the fire. This camera may also feed into the command and control room to allow the Officer in Charge a view of the ship's deck, which would not normally be visible from the deck of the Fireboat.

The pilot house is so configured as to allow a 360 degree view for the vessel’s pilot to enable him/her to maneuver the vessel in tight quarters and when approaching the side of a large ship.

The Contract to perform detailed design and construction was awarded to Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. of Panama City, Florida (www.easternshipbuilding.com) on December 28, 2007.

 

 

Because of the very real threat of additional terrorist attacks after 9/11/01 the boats will also be capable of protecting firefighters from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear agents (CBRN). While performing in any of these hostile environments the crew will be protected in a pressurized area that will also have its air supply filtered by special charcoal and HEPA filters. Assistance on the design of the CBRN system was provided by engineers from the U.S. military's Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense and Naval Sea Systems Command, United States Navy.

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