Ocean City Dedicates New Fire and Rescue Boat
Local officials and residents of Ocean City gathered to officially dedicate a new fire and rescue vessel, Ocean City Fireboat 1, at a ceremony on June 27 at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. The boat was purchased through a partnership between the Town of Ocean City Fire Department and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Boating Services.
The new vessel, a Moore Boat 32, was specially designed to support the fire department’s daily missions, providing rapid response to boaters and waterfront properties in Ocean City’s fire district. The fire district includes 9 marinas, 688 public boat slips and 465 boat racks, and the waterways of the near shore Atlantic Ocean, Isle of Wight, Assawoman, Sinepuxent and Newport bays. These marinas represent a significant possible fire hazard, typically storing in excess of 54,000 gallons of gasoline and 93,000 gallons of diesel fuel during the tourist season.
“We have worked closely with Moore Boat throughout the building process,” said Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Larmore. “We are excited about delivery of the vessel and proud to provide Ocean City residents and visitors such special service in a shallow water environment.”
Ocean City Fireboat 1 is capable of navigating areas as shallow as six inches and maneuvering through both marsh and densely populated main channels. It is also able to pumping 1,250 gallons of water per minute to combat fires and features a 25-gallon foam system to combat flammable liquid fires.
The boat boasts state-of-the-art technology in radar and GPS, sonar depth-finder, infrared camera, and marine and fire department radios. It also features onboard EMS/patient care equipment, rescue swimmer equipment, LED scene lighting, and a diver/rescue swimmer platform and ladder.
“This much needed boat will provide state-of-the-art performance in fire, rescue and emergency medical services to Ocean City’s many recreational and commercial boating facilities,” said Mark O’Malley, director of DNR Boating Services. “We are pleased that our partnership with the Town of Ocean City Fire Department has resulted in the acquisition of this one-of-a-kind vessel that will enhance boating safety in the waterways around Ocean City.”
The new fire and rescue vessel was completed in May and will be berthed at the end of 13th Street and the Bay. The total cost was $539,825 with DNR providing $150,000 in matching funds from the Waterway Improvement Fund. Revenue for the fund comes from the one-time, 5 percent excise tax paid when a boat is purchased and titled in Maryland.
For information on boating safety, visit dnr.state.md.us/boating/safety/.