A fireboat is a specialized watercraft, often resembling a tugboat, with pumps and nozzles designed for fighting shoreline and shipboard fires.

They are frequently used for fighting fires on docks and shore side warehouses as they can directly attack fires in the supporting underpinnings of these structures. They also have an unlimited supply of water available, pumping directly from below the hull and can be used to assist shore based firefighters when other water is in low supply or is unavailable, for example, due to earthquake breakage of water mains, as happened in San Francisco due to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Modern fireboats are capable of pumping tens of thousands of gallons of water per minute. An example is Fire Boat #2 of the Los Angeles Fire Department, the "Warner Lawrence", with the capability to pump up to 38,000 US gallons per minute (2 m³/s) and up to 400 feet (120 m) in the air.

Fireboats are most usually seen by the public when welcoming a fleet or historical ships with a display of their water moving capabilities, throwing large arcs of water in every direction.

Occasionally fireboats are used to carry firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, and a physician with their equipment to islands and other boats. Also hydrocopters, rigid-hulled inflatable boats, and even hovercrafts and helicopters are used in fire, rescue and medical emergency situations. They may also carry divers or surface water rescue workers. Passengers from ships in danger can be also transferred to various kind of rescue boats. Rescue boats may be used also for oil and chemical destruction on rivers, lakes and seas [For example, the Helsinki Rescue Department in Helsinki, Finland has various kinds of boats for various kind of firefighting, rescue, and oil destruction tasks.] .

List of famous fire boats

* Deluge - Fireboat/Tug (New Orleans, Louisiana) (retired)
* Duwamish - (Seattle, Washington) (retired)
* Edward M. Cotter - Fireboat/Icebreaker (Buffalo, New York) (active)
* Tacoma Fireboat #1 - (Tacoma, Washington) (retired)
* John J. Harvey - (New York City, New York) (retired)
* Massey Shaw - (London, England) (retired)
* Pyronaut - moored at Bristol Harbour Railway and Industrial Museum (Bristol, England) (retired)
* Ralph J. Scott - (Los Angeles, California) (retired)
* Sir Alexander Grantham - (Hong Kong) (retired)
* Warner Lawrence - Los Angeles, California (active)
* William Lyon Mackenzie - (Toronto, Canada) (acitve)
* William O. Bird II - Sandusky Fire Department (Sandusky, Ohio) (active)

ee also

* Fire apparatus
* Firefighter
* rigid-hulled inflatable boat
* Police boat


External links

* [ Los Angeles Fire Department Fireboats]
* [ Former NYFD Fireboat John J. Harvey]
* [ Exciting stories from the San Francisco Fire Museum - San Francisco Fire Department Fireboat "Phoenix" fights Marina District fire after the Loma Prieta earthquake; fireboat "Guardian" brought to San Francisco from Vancouver through a storm.]
* [ Puget Sound Fireboat Foundation - Seattle's Historic Fireboat "Duwamish"]
* [ MetalCraft Marine Fireboats - Photos and videos]
* [ Voluntaire Marine firefighters Kring 6 Blusboot de Weer]
* [ Fireboat Fever - Information and photos of Fireboats from all over the world]
* [ Buffalo Fire Department's Edward M. Cotter Homepage (Buffalo, New York) - Considered to be the world's oldest active fireboat]

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