2018 News

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November 30, 2018
Fire Apparatus Magazine

Fire Apparatus Magazine has an excellent overview by Alan M Petrillo of the various fireboats and rescue boats used by the NYFD in New York, the St. Louis (MO) Fire Department, the Port of Houston (TX) Fire Department, the Tampa (FL) Fire Department, and the Seattle (WA) Fire Department.

The article features several of our larger MetalCraft Marine Firestorm fireboats. Here are quotes from the article.

The Stan Musial is the St. Louis (MO) Fire Department’s 42½-foot MetalCraft Marine fire and rescue boat powered by twin Cummins 600-hp engines driving water jets that operates on the Mississippi River.

The Port of Houston (TX) Fire Department operates three 71-foot MetalCraft Marine Firestorm fire and rescue boats to protect 52 miles of the Houston ship channel.

Mike Arras, deputy chief at St. Louis (MO) Fire Department, says his department operates the Stan Musial, a 42½-foot MetalCraft Marine fire and rescue boat, and a 27-foot SAFE Boat on the Mississippi River. “We also have access to five swiftwater caches of equipment in the region,” Arras says, “which are trailer-operated caches with two inflatable Zodiac boats and engines, as well as additional equipment, that respond to floods on the Mississippi nearly every year.”

Ray Hummel, captain of the MetalCraft Marine fire and rescue boat, says the boat is powered by twin diesel 600-hp Cummins engines driving water jets instead of props and has two Hale pumps capable of 4,000 gpm each, two 2,000-gpm remote control monitors (on the roof and at the bow), two rear-deck manually operated 1,000-gpm monitors, and a five-foot dive platform off the aft deck. “We also have a 3,000-pound winch, backboards, webbing and netting for a body catcher, onboard oxygen, medical equipment, and extra PFDs,” Hummel says, “along with two five-inch discharges where we can pump to shore, 200 feet of 2½-inch hose, and 200 feet of 1¾-inch.”

William Buck, chief of the Port of Houston (TX) Fire Department, says his department protects 52 miles of the Houston ship channel from three stations, each housing a MetalCraft Marine 71-foot Firestorm fire and rescue boat. “Hazardous materials are one of our major concerns, so we have extinguishment and detection equipment to deal with them,” Buck says. “We carry TNT Rescue hydraulic cutters and spreaders in case we have to get access to a vessel, and each boat has water rescue equipment where we try to perform rescues without leaving the boat because the draft is only two feet 10 inches, meaning we can get close to use grappling hooks, throw lines, or a cargo net.”

Buck adds that his maritime firefighters usually recover from the bow end of the boat where the helmsman gives the boat’s water jets a push to bring the victim back to the boat’s dive platform. “We also will use FLIR where we can see the temperature difference of product on the water or an individual in the water,” Buck says, “or when we are looking for hot spots on a vessel while we are doing a cooling operation. FLIR has been a very large asset for us.”

Houston’s Firestorms also have onboard air breathing cascade systems, EMS and medical equipment, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and spare SCBA bottles, and basic life support medical facilities. The Firestorms will flow up to 15,000 gpm through their many outlets, including shore discharges, a 5,000-gpm Stang monitor on top of the deckhouse, two 1,250-gpm Elkhart Brass monitors aft, and two Elkhart Brass 2,000-gpm monitors on the bow.

Bryan Riley, chief of special operations for the Tampa (FL) Fire Department, says Tampa’s flagship fire and rescue boat is the Patriot, a 69-foot MetalCraft Marine boat the will make 34 knots; flows 13,000 gpm; and carries 400 feet of 1¾-inch fire attack hose, an advanced life support medical suite (with medications, an EKG machine, intubation equipment, and full resuscitation capabilities), a 500-gallon foam tank, a FoamPro foam system, three forward-facing monitors (a 300-gpm Stang on the wheelhouse and two on forward deck positions), and two 250-gpm monitors aft. “Our dive medics operate mainly off this boat, which has a dive platform, and an inflatable rigid-hull inflatable boat (RIB) with a 150-hp outboard motor that we deploy from a winch,” Riley says. “The boat also carries side-scanning sonar, backboards, and a Stokes basket for rescue situations.”

Seattle also has two 50-foot MetalCraft Marine fire and rescue boats that can pump 6,000 gpm and carry Stokes, backboards, EMS gear, throw bags, 1¾-inch hose, dewatering pumps, and cotton absorbent booms for spills, Kerns points out. And, foam is an important element on all of Seattle’s fireboats, he adds, with the Chief Seattle carrying 1,000 gallons, Leschi 6,000 gallons, and each of the two smaller boats carrying 200 gallons.

August 20, 2018

Here is a good video of the FDNY's MetalCraft Marine vessel assisting at a Brooklyn Warehouse fire

June 04, 2018

Another instance of a MetalCraft Marine vessel responding to a marina fire.

Isle of Capri Marina fire

A 69-foot yacht moored at the Isles of Capri Marina, north of Marco Island, caught fire Monday with flames spreading to two smaller boats, authorities said.

Crews from the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District and Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department responded to the blaze at 12:13 p.m., said Nolan Sapp, assistant chief for Greater Naples.

"They've got it knocked down, but they're still doing fire attack," he said early Monday afternoon.

The fire appears to have sparked on the large yacht and spread from there to two smaller cabin cruisers, 28 feet long and 30 feet long, Sapp said.

"They were moored next to the big one," he said.

No one was hurt in the blaze, and the cause of the fire is not yet known. Greater Naples Fire officials are investigating the fire, Sapp said. Depending on their findings, the state fire marshal may investigate, he said.

Sapp said two of the three boats, including the large yacht, are a total loss. He estimated the total damage to be close to $1 million.

Using booms to create a barrier around the boats, a private contractor worked to keep fuel contained to the area, Sapp said.

"We don't want the fuel to contaminate the bay area," he said.

May 23, 2018
Firefighter Nation story

Firefighter Nation has a nice story with video about how the Fire Department of New York's Marine Division is aided by technology.

Of course, their MetalCraft Marine fireboats are a significant part of this.

Amy Freeze of WABC New York reports (direct link to the video).

April 05, 2018

Fox 45 News reports on the $7.5 million loss in Perryville Easter Sunday condo fire.

Massive fire in Perryville, MD, with . Massive fire in Perryville, MD, with .

We've received this really strong testimonial from Thomas Bicking, Fire Chief of Charlestown Fire Company about their 2017 MetalCraft Marine Firestorm 32.

Sent: 2018-04-02 9:52:50 AM
Subject: Owens Landing Fire - Perryville

Good Morning Richard,

My name is Tom Bicking, and I am the Chief of Charlestown Fire Company. Mike has asked me to give a few details regarding our operations at the Condo Fire in Perryville that happened at 0230 on April 1, 2018. I was officer on our new fire boat, and my assistant chief was our operator.

The way this group of condominiums was situated there was no access for fire apparatus to gain access to the rear of the building. If there had been, they still would have had to park well outside the collapse zone due to heat, which minimizes how close you can get with hand lines, flow rates, etc. When we arrived, which by the way was only about a 10 minute response from Charlestown due to our new boat, the structure was fully engulfed. Upon arrival we joined Harford County Boat 5-2 from Havre De Grace Fire Company, and immediately placed into service our monitor which was flowing approximately 1500 gallons a minute for the 5 hours (approximately 450,000 gallons) or so we were on scene. The fire was so hot when we arrived we made a knock on the fire for approximately 15 minutes and as the air temperature got cooler, we moved in closer until we were tied off to the bulkhead flowing water from that location.

I have no doubt in my mind the towns water system wouldn't have had enough water to fight this fire. Most likely this fire would have taxed any municipal water system. Having two fireboats employing their monitors was essential to extinguishing this fire, and keeping the heat dissipated, leaving the aerial apparatus on the municipal water supply free to manage a fog stream over the adjacent structures resulting in the adjacent buildings from getting to an ignition point. Without these two marine units I feel the fire loss would have been much greater.

By the way, Havre De Grace Boat 5-2 was on location for close to 12Hrs yesterday, and at times they were operating both a portable deck gun and their monitor. If there had been docks where we were, we could have established a water supply by running a 5" supply line out the dock to our boat and furnished water to the attack pieces as well as fought fire. I am sure well over a million gallons of water were dumped on this fire over the course of the incident, which would have been impossible without these marine units. If you have further questions please don't hesitate to ask Mike or myself. We are more than happy to assist you however we can.

Thomas Bicking - Fire Chief
Charlestown Fire Company
p.o.box 111, 307 Market Street
Charlestown, Md. 21914

Here's more on the aftermath.

March 16, 2018

Just after sunset on Sunday, March 11 in New York City, a single-engine Eurocopter AS350 helicopter crashed into the East River, killing all five passengers. The FDNY responded within five minutes.

Here is a photo of the William M. Feehan, a MetalCraft Marine Firestorm 70, assisting with recovery.

William M. Feehan, a MetalCraft Marine Firestorm 70, assisting with recovery.
February 24, 2018
Charlestown VA FD Supporting Fundraising

Of course, it's not all fires and rescues. Here is a happy event: Charlestown FD, Maryland, with Susquehanna Hose Company's Dive Team standing by, supporting Cecil County community fundraising events at Ice Splash 2018 on Saturday February 24th.

The Charlestown VA Fire Department supporting local fundraising.
January 27, 2018
From the Times Colonist in Victoria, BC
The Victoria Fire Department responded to a fire at a marina in front of the Coast Harbourside Hotel in James Bay on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018.

Fire tore through a 30-foot pleasure craft moored at a James Bay marina early Saturday.

Victoria Fire Department crews responded to the blaze in the marina in front of the Coast Harbourside Hotel on Kingston Street just after 1 a.m.

A resident of nearby Fisherman’s Wharf said there was heavy smoke in the area following a loud explosion about 1 a.m.

According to the fire department, the boat was “fully involved” when they arrived.

Firefighters used the deck gun of a fire boat on the flames, while a second crew applied water from the driveway of the hotel.

No one was aboard the vessel and there were no injuries.

A witness said the fire was extinguished by 1:35 a.m.

The fire department said the boat was a writeoff.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

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