Thread: Boats!

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    Question Boats!

    I suppose this could go in "Apparatus Inovation" but I specifically want to hear from volunteer departments.

    So, boats;

    1. Who's got'em?

    2. Who built'em and for how much?

    3. Focus on fire supression or rescue, or both?

    4. Pictures please...

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    No boats on my current department.

    My past department co-operated a boat with the other department in town as we both had marinas and lakeshore property to cover.

    We were on lake Champlain, which was a roughly 130-mile lake running between VT and NY.

    It was a 26' Boston Whaler hand-me-down from the police department. We equipped it with a 750gpm pump, a 500gpm monitor and 2-100" 1-1/2" attack lines. We also added some additional lighting.

    The boat was staffed alternating weeks by each department. For a rescue-related or Coast Gurad requested search assist call, the fire departments provided a pilot and one firefighter. The rescue squad would provide 2-3 water rescue or five personnel depending on the nature of the call. The police department boat would also be utilized for rescue operations.

    The boat has since been retired and the other department in town has purchased a new boat and has assumed all responsibilities for boat operations. it can be viewed at MBFD.org.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-15-2010 at 03:44 PM.

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    Let's talk fire trucks!
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    How about the only fire department in Virginia that doesn't own any fire trucks?

    Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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    Quote Originally Posted by natedog54 View Post
    I suppose this could go in "Apparatus Inovation" but I specifically want to hear from volunteer departments.

    So, boats;

    1. Who's got'em?
    Clear Lake Fire Department, we have a small boat.

    2. Who built'em and for how much?
    It is a 14 or 16 foot metal flat bottom boat with a small outboard, and I believe it may have been donated by the local marina.

    3. Focus on fire supression or rescue, or both?
    Primarily rescue, we are on a 3000 acre lake and provide surface water and ice rescue.

    4. Pictures please...
    Don't have any pictures readily handy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    No boats on my current department.

    My past department co-operated a boat with the other department in town as we both had marinas and lakeshore property to cover.

    We were on lake Champlain, which was a roughly 130-mile lake running between VT and NY.

    It was a 26' Boston Whaler hand-me-down from the police department. We equipped it with a 750gpm pump, a 500gpm monitor and 2-100" 1-1/2" attack lines. We also added some additional lighting.

    The boat was staffed alternating weeks by each department. For a rescue-related or Coast Gurad requested search assist call, the fire departments provided a pilot and one firefighter. The rescue squad would provide 2-3 water rescue or five personnel depending on the nature of the call. The police department boat would also be utilized for rescue operations.

    The boat has since been retired and the other department in town has purchased a new boat and has assumed all responsibilities for boat operations. it can be viewed at MBFD.org.
    Great info, thanks. And let me know if you see Champ!

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    How about the only fire department in Virginia that doesn't own any fire trucks?

    Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue
    Fantastic, I'm looking to see and learn about a wide veriety hulls and equipment. We don't have anything bigger then a zodiac right now, but the chief wants to get a bigger boat because we have some decent size lakes in our district. With only the zodiac, if there is a boat fire, we pretty much have to just watch it burn and sink...

    I found this, and it looks pretty promising with the exception of fire supression.

    http://www.huskyairboats.com/

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    We have a 12 foot inflatable, fits inside the rescue when we need it. Mostly ice rescue, electric motor. The battery is on a maintenace charger in the rescue.

    In the summer, we use boats from the Sheriff, State Police, Coast Gaurd, and Conservation. We also use boats from the Boat rental marina on our busyest lake.

    The only time we have done a cold water rescue, was in a very small lake and was done with one of the firefighters fishing boat. Sitting in the driveway and he heard the tone, hooked on his boat and towed it to the lake, launched it and rescued three fishermen from an over turned boat. Volunteer responding at its best.

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    Answering for the entire county (my department doesn't have a boat):
    Quote Originally Posted by natedog54 View Post
    1. Who's got'em?
    a. Clayton Fire Department
    b. Wellesley Island Fire Department
    c. Alexandria Bay Fire Department

    2. Who built'em and for how much?
    a. Metalcraft Marine - ~$400,000
    b. Silver Ships - ~$200,000
    c. Don't know - but it was mostly assembled locally from a landing craft - price unknown

    3. Focus on fire supression or rescue, or both?
    a, b, c: Both

    4. Pictures please...
    a. Check the website link in 1.
    b. Can't locate any right now
    c. Can't locate any right now
    In addition the Chaumont VFD operates a rescue boat that may have fire suppression capability, the Henderson VFD operates an inflatable as a rescue boat, and our dive team has an inflatable and a rigid hull inflatable at their disposal.

    It should be noted that our county has shoreline on both Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, including the Thousand Islands region.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Well,
    Made my living selling boats for 17 years. The whole smear. Sail-power, done many TV programs, commercials, movies, even brought in to courts as one of those expert witnesses you see in the movies. Been to many a factory for custom orders too. For volunteer departments, a big part of the selection process has got to be identifying what the boats primary occupation is going to be and the area and water you intend to use it in.

    LaFire mentioned a particular 'make' that is the Rolex of production fiberglass. Boston Whaler. Militarys use this boat make. Around twenty years ago two Iranian or Iraqi Whaler gun boats challenged the US Navy which shot the the crews and the engines to pieces however the boats still stayed afloat.

    There is even video of them being pushed out the ramp of a 'flying' C-130 (on trailers) just above the ground and then taken straight to the water.

    That make is ideal for salt-water use and that is its primary area of operation. Of course if you decided to go new and customized for your intended use then as with all Boston Whalers, you are not going to pay any higher price. It is the highest, so that is the best for those departments who have deep pockets. It is also a huge status symbol for whoever owns one. Tip your hats in respect gentlemen

    Then there are the aluminum vessels that are surprisingly good for primarily freshwater applications.

    One of the most key factors of owning a boat either commercially or privately is this and I see this problem quite often. The worst thing you can do is buy the boat and not use it. A boat that is being run regularly is being maintained. I cannot tell you how many times I have had some guy looking to trade and bring in a ten year old boat that looked showroom floor new and boast to me that it only had ten hours on it. I actually have told some of them to get it off the lot. I wish I could explain the factors involved, but those boats generally develop problems for whoever buys them used and then they are mad at me. Your department or town heads will do the same thing when it comes to getting rid of it or trading them in.
    I have a director of our county EOC who has had a new 18 foot aluminum center console MonArk with 4 cylinder Yamaha on it and it has never left the building since it was backed in. Been there four years now. If it is suddenly called to respond on the water, I fear that not only is the operator lacking the experience and going to worry about how to launch and run the boat, but doubtful it will even start up correctly.

    Brand new aluminum center console and in reality it is nothing but a large object taking up valuable space with a big responsibility attached to it that it will never be able to fill.

    So my advice, whatever selection you make, DO NOT let the powers that BE get picky about its use. Make sure you have crews responsible for operating it regularly or else it is going to end up as a failed acquisition that will be held against those who promoted it.
    Last edited by jam24u; 09-18-2010 at 11:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    How about the only fire department in Virginia that doesn't own any fire trucks?

    Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue
    See! Boston Whaler. Super cool one too. Somebody has it riding perfectly too in the photo.

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    Another thing about Whalers is they hold their value for a long time.
    We had a 68 17 footer with a mid 90's injected Tohatsu with over a thousand hrs ,donated to our departments auction this year. It brought us a nice 2500.00 and it needed a new center console and new wiring from stem to stern.
    Whalers are hard to kill and even harder to sink. Make that next to impossible! They might even be FF proof.

    Most of the state marine patrol boats and coast guard inshore boats are whalers.

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    This is the area we would use it for, all fresh water lakes. Part of the problem is that while they are fairly large lakes, and you see some channels on the map, most boats can not make it through them. We need something good for rescue, fire supression, and ice if all 3 can be combined. If not, then rescue and fire are the primary function.

    Side note*
    Rice lake actually has a "sea plane base." It's mostly planes with floats, but they also have a grass air stip along the shore.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by natedog54; 09-22-2010 at 01:46 AM.

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    I have access to a bass boat. 14 foot. No motor. Just the thing for lagoon searches. Or slide it out on the ice of a farm pond.

    needless to say, we don't use it much.

    You have got to love a lagoon search.

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    We use a 24' Crest Pontoon boat for fire and rescue on our River. For our purpose, it is a good match, other than speed. It's stable, easy for inexperienced boaters to operate, lots of deck space for working on patients, and offers a good work platform for working with divers. Not good for ice or swift water, but good for most of what we do. We did get a hard top and have plastic enclosure for inclement weather. We equipped it with a generator, lighting (both 12 volt and 110 flood lights), fire pump, EMS Supplies, underwater camera, and recently added a Humminbird 1197C Side Scan Sonar.

    Pontoons are not good for all situations and generally lack speed. It is a good option for us and how we use it.

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    I know of a department on an inland lake that has a pontoon boat. They have no real moving water to deal with, and the primary purpose of the boat is water supply for land units at sites around the lakeshore.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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