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Fire Department Getting New Boat for Water Rescue

City gets $48,419 grant to help pay for the $64,000 craft.

It may be a little too chilly to think about boating the waters of Lake Erie.

But that’s not the case for the . 

With the help of a $48,419 port security grant, city council recently OK’d the purchase of a duel-engine Ribcraft rescue boat that said will allow the department to quickly respond to calls on Lake Erie and the Rocky River.

The department already has a 12-foot, single-engine boat, but at more than 20 years old, it’s nearing the end of the line.

And it’s slow.

The new 21-foot boat comes twin-engines to cut down on response times. It will also be equipped with special hoses that can fight fires using water from Lake Erie.

Staffed by crews from , the new boat will likely be docked at the mouth of the Rocky River, where emergency rescue crews will be able to quickly respond to calls, Gilman said.

“It will tremendously improve safety,” Gilman said. “Now, we’ll be able to get out to (an emergency) rapidly.”

The total cost of the boat is $64,000, but it comes with all the equipment included. The city’s share was a 25 percent match, or $16,140.

“This is part of our water rescue plan of 2012,” Gilman said. “When we have a rescue, we don’t want to have redundancy, so we’re partnering with Rocky River.” 

“It gives us a safer platform to work with.”

Alanna Faith January 10, 2012 at 05:15 PM
As an avid kayaker on the Rocky River and Lake Erie, I'm glad to hear this news. The new boat will especially help safeguard those of us who paddle and the fishermen in small watercraft. Over several years, I've experienced and have seen a number of circumstances where this Fire Rescue Boat could have been put to use. Quick response time in such cases is crucial.
Steve January 10, 2012 at 09:13 PM
@Alanna, Isn't that what the Coast Guard is for?
Bob Pratt January 11, 2012 at 03:21 PM
@ Steve, The Coast Guard has limited ability near shore and on smaller tributaries. Speed and maneuverability are critical on the river and in waves. This is a great lifesaving tool.

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