John S. Damrell – Boston’s New 70′ Fireboat

John Konrad
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August 30, 2011


With hurricanes and earthquakes sweeping the East coast this week, the Boston fire department is ready for delivery of it’s newest and most capable, fireboat, the FireStorm 70.

Ontario-based MetalCraft Marine completed work on the FireStorm 70 three weeks ago, and will be delivering the 70-footer down to Boston in a few weeks time.

This latest delivery comes on the heels of a $14,970,000 contract just awarded to MetalCraft by the Port of Houston Authority for the purchase of three high-tech fireboats.  MetalCraft fireboats have also been build for the shipping ports of Seattle, Tampa and Miami, to name a few.

The boat will be named John S. Damrell after the former Chief Engineer of the Boston Fire Department who battled Boston’s Great Fire of 1872.

“Boston has a number of fireboats but nothing with this capability. This boat can pump about 12,000 gallons per minute,” says Jay Milner, account manager for MetalCraft Marine. “The other fireboats Boston has are a lot slower. And the faster ones they have are very tiny, in comparison to this monster. It was a quick sell.”

In addition to traditional firefighting capabilities the City of Boston ordered the fireboat to be equipped with chemical, biological and radiological (CBRD) emergency response capabilities to respond to a wider array of threats the city may face.

The John S. Damrell replaces the current Boston fireboat “Firefighter,” which seen active service since 1972 and does not have the capabilities needed for modern emergency scenarios including CBRD attacks. In a recent press release, Commissioner Roderick Fraser of the City of Boston said the FireStorm 70 will also have the latest equipment including electronic navigation systems, water jet propulsion, and a top speed of 35 knots fully loaded.

“This boat is light years ahead of the current fireboat and will greatly enhance our response capability anywhere in Boston Harbor,” said Fraiser.

The following is video of Tampa’s Firestorm 69 boat launched in August of 2009:

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