Louisiana-based aluminum boatbuilder Metal Shark says it been selected to build the next generation of fire boats for South Florida’s Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department.
Metal Shark announced Tuesday that Miami-Dade selected its “50 Defiant X” fire boat to replace older fire boats currently operated by the department. The next-generation design features a welded aluminum monohull with a proven hull form and a specialized arrangement optimized for firefighting.
Designed by Metal Shark’s in-house engineering team, the 50-foot vessels will be powered by twin inboard diesel engines with water jet propulsion for an estimated top speed is in excess of 45 knots. At more economical cruise 30-knot cruise speed, the vessels will have an operating range of approximately 250 nautical miles, Metal Shark says.
The vessels will also incorporate additional design features for enhanced crew comfort, improved safety and efficiency, including Metal Shark’s signature “Pillarless Glass” pilothouse arrangement.
The new boats will built at Metal Shark’s Jeanerette, Louisiana production facility.
“We were impressed at every turn with the diligence and the professionalism of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s leadership, and especially their unwavering commitment to the safety of their firefighters,” said Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard. “The Department conducted in-depth research followed by a lengthy procurement process to acquire the most modern, efficient, and proven fire boat on the market, and our 50 Defiant checked all the boxes.”
For Metal Shark, the contract from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue adds to a growing list of fire boat customers.
“While Metal Shark builds over 200 boats per year and we are perhaps best known for the large fleets of military vessels we design and build, we continue to expand our presence in the fire boat market,” said Dean Jones, Metal Shark’s Vice President of Sales for Fire, Law Enforcement, and Specialty Markets. “In the past eighteen months, Metal Shark has added nearly ten new fire rescue customers.”
“Metal Shark is looking forward to delivering these new, state-of-the-art, American-made fire boats, which will afford the operator the very latest advancements in fire boat design and technology,” said Allard. “With these new vessels, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews will be able to respond faster and do their jobs more safely. This is a real win not only for the firefighters, but especially for the people of South Florida.