MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department added a 43-foot boat to its fleet with the purpose of fighting offshore and coastal fires.
“This has been a dream come true for me. I’ve been trying to get something like this for the past 10 years,” Capt. Marice Vautier said.
The last boat MFRD put into the water was in 2006. It is a much smaller, faster boat that is capable of pumping a few hundred gallons of water per minute.
In comparison, the new boat can pump up to 4,500 gallons of water per minute. A land pumper can pump 1,500 gallons of water per minute.
“If you have a fire that’s close to the water, depending on hydrant availability, this vessel could pull in close to a sea wall and actually pump three pumpers at full rate of capacity,” District Chief Jason Brown said. “That allows us to have quite a bit of fire capability on the waterfront.”
Three-quarters of the $1.257 million was paid for with federal money while the other 25% was paid for by the City of Mobile. Brown said the purchase order for the vessel was made in 2021.
The new boat will be stationed at MFRD’s Brookley Sector while the older boat is stationed at Dog River. The Coast Guard, during rescue missions, would come from Dauphin Island.
“We’ve kind of got the whole bay covered between us, our little boat and the Coast Guard,” Vautier said.
Brown said MFRD is scheduled to unveil new fire trucks in the next few weeks.