Here at gCaptain we’re big fans of fireboats and the latest in fireboat technology. That being said, it’s not surprise that FDNY’s new Fast Response Fireboats have us all head over heals.
The first of two contracted fire boats, Three Forty Three, named after the 343 firefighers and paramedics who died in the 9/11 attacks, arrived for active duty in December after being commissioned on September 11, 2009. The Three Forty Three is assigned to Marine 1 on the Hudson River in Manhattan, replacing the John D. McKean, and is currently undergoing training until around August 1 when it will be placed in active duty. The Fire Fighter II is the second boat in this two boat contract and is currently undergoing construction. Fire Fighter II will replace the Fire Fighter and be assigned to Marine 9 on Staten Island.
Designed by Robert Allan LTD. of Vancouver, B.C., the state of the art fire boats are equipped with the latest technologies to ensure that the FDNY’s Marine Division is capable of handling any task thrown at it.
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. In addition, the fireboats will also be capable of be of protecting firefighters from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear agents (CBRN) by providing its crew with a pressurized area with a filtered air supply.
Another ingenious feature of these vessels is the addition of a forward ballast tank which allows 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. Here is a look at some of the other technologies that makes the Three Forty Three (and will make the Fire Fighter II) the best weapons used against fires and national security threats.
Both boats were funded in part by over $40 million in DHS grants, according to the FDNY. The Contract to perform detailed design and construction was awarded to Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. of Panama City, Florida on December 28, 2007.