Magazine article National Defense

For Big Apple, Huge Fireboats

Magazine article National Defense

For Big Apple, Huge Fireboats

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

For several days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, firefighters in New York City relied on two half-century-old fireboats for urgently needed water, as downtown water mains had been severed.

The boats each pumped 20,000 gallons of water per minute from the Hudson River to the wreckage of the World Trade Center's collapsed twin towers.

Eight years later, New York City is replacing its aged vessels with a pair of fireboats that each can pump 50,000 gallons of water per minute up to five miles inland.

At 140 feet long, they are the largest fireboats in the world, says the manufacturer.

They have forward ballast tanks that can raise and lower the boats in the water to match the deck levels of ferries, in case one needed to be evacuated. The fireboats also feature pressurized areas that protect crews from biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear agents. …

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