Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward joined Pensacola Fire Department staff this morning to christen the City’s first dedicated fire boat. City Council members Andy Terhaar, Brian Spencer, and Charles Bare were also on hand to launch the boat with water blasts from three fire extinguishers.
“The City of Pensacola is very proud of our first-class fire department,” said Mayor Hayward. “As we look to continue developing our downtown waterfront and growing business at our Port, this new amenity and the enhanced protection it provides is invaluable.”
The 36-foot Fire Boat One was purchased with $612,000 from the Federal Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program. The boat will allow the Pensacola Fire Department to provide firefighting as well as medical and rescue services across Pensacola’s waterfront and Pensacola Bay, as well as to surrounding communities like Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach if necessary. “This fire boat is truly a regional asset,” said Mayor Hayward.
Over the years, the City of Pensacola has had several serious waterfront fires. In the 1940s and 1950s, a series of fires destroyed many of Pensacola’s waterfront docks and port facilities. More recently, in 2008, the popular Oar House restaurant on Bayou Chico caught fire.
Fire Boat One has a top speed of 45 miles per hour and a maximum pump capacity of 2,000 gallons per minute. The boat was manufactured by Metalcraft Marine of Kingston, Ontario.