New Rescue Boat

May  14, 2013

     Members of the Moline police and fire departments are learning how to use a new piece of equipment. Tonight the new rescue boat will parked outside city hall for aldermen to see on their way to the council meeting.

     Fire Department Battalion Chief, Todd Allen, says it's 30 feet long, with twin, 300- horsepower engines, and a pump that can put out 700 gallons of water per minute. It replaces a 17-foot flat-bottom boat formerly used by the department on the Mississippi River.

     "Any time winds exceeded 15-20 mph from the east or west, it would really push swells up and push water over the bow of that boat. So we really couldn't operate under all weather conditions. This boat has an enclosed pilot house, and it's able to take on water and it'll run off easier."

     The new rescue boat cost 195,000 dollars, paid for with a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and approved by the Coast Guard.

     "The Coast Guard had identified needs up and down this portion of the upper Mississippi River, and we helped fit part of their needs for response and mitigation of any issues on the river. And to keep the commercial traffic waterways open."

     The boat is named "The Old Mississippi Two" in honor of a Moline Fire Department steam engine that helped fight the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.