First time on the water. Marietta first responders can keep the water ways even safer.
"We also respond to any kind of water emergency whether it be fire or any other emergencies like that," says Marietta Fire Chief, C.W. Durham. "We have a wide capability in what this boat will actually increase the things we can respond to."
The Police Department has never had a boat to respond with and the Fire Department hasn't had a new one in 30 years.
They were both completely paid for by the Huntington Port Authority, Coast Guard Grant and made possible through hard work of city officials.
"Ours was $393,000 and the Police Departments was $197,000," says Durham.
With events like the River Roar and Stern wheel festival both the Fire and Police Department say these new boats will be a great asset. Now the Police Department will be able to better patrol during those events and the Fire Department will be able to have more of a presence. "Also we'd like to get out in the summer on the weekends and maybe patrol for possible drunk drivers, and things like that," explains Marietta Police Department's Captain, Jeff Waite.
Whether it's just simply broken down boat or a person needing help in the water the Fire Department is called to rescue. The Department says they expect to use this boat more than in the past. "We've increased our capability for responding on the water with this boat by having a FLIR system for looking at infrared radar so we can see if it's fog or smoke conditions while navigating on the river," explains Durham. "We also have a foam system to more efficiently put out a fire boat fires. We have a sonar system so we can see what's at the bottom of the river. And we have dive communication, we actually have verbal communication with our divers now, we'll be able to talk to them while underwater,"
The Boat also has a portable hydrant to help pump water to a fire engine on the ground if there is a failure in a water main or absence of water.
"It's an amazing asset that the Huntington Port Authority and the Coast Guard provided to us for this area," explains Durham. " To better be able to protect our city and I'm thrilled that the mayor and council have been so helpful in making this come to fruition."
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