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Harbor Police Department Unveils New Firefighting Vessels


These boats are like floating fire engines on the water. The Port of San Diego’s Harbor Police Department is home to new and advanced multi-purpose vessels. Designed to enhance public safety on San Diego bay. What we have here is our new police fire vessel. These new vessels will be replacing thirty-year-old vessels that have been in service obviously for a very long time. This is a thirty nine-foot Firestorm which is manufactured by a company called Metal Craft in Canada. This is the state of the art technology that uh we have been seeking for our patrol functions and firefighting functions. The Harbor Police Department patrols and protects the tidelands in San Diego Bay which includes five-member cities from San Diego to Coronado, Chula Vista, National City and Imperial Beach. Well the area that we cover including the bay we have twenty two square miles of of water that we cover with vessels twenty four seven so it’s very important that we have a very good strategy for protecting the bay protecting the port and protecting the entire region. The department’s thirty-five-year-old fleet has served them well but Harbor Police say upkeep on these other vessels costs them around eighty thousand dollars a year. In addition the EPA developed new guidelines for the marine environment that would require all vessels to be in compliance by two thousand fourteen. Harbor Police, we’re looking at having to retrofit all of our our fleet with new engines to meet their compliance. That coupled with the amount of money we’re spending on maintaining the vessels the decision was made department wide that we need to basically look into getting a whole new fleet of vessels to do our firefighting functions on the water. These boats exceed the the minimum requirements that we needed to come up with for emissions control. It also has onboard systems which prevent any fuel spillage overboard. Harbor Police officers patrolling the bay never know when they will encounter a fire. That is why officers who serve are required to receive full fire training. Firefighter training that uh our officers are required to participate in is all done in house. We have a number of firefighting instructors on board here at Harbor Police and they have a lot of experience in marine firefighting and really have a passion for it because it’s a very dangerous aspect of our job as if being a police officer wasn’t dangerous enough, there times when we may need to board a burning vessel to to pull people off. In two thousand nine the department was awarded a 1.9 million dollar state grant to subsidize the purchase of all hazardous equipment that includes this vessel which serves a multi role function for first responders. It’s basically an exciting time for the department because it allows us to go to the next level in our response as firefighters on the water and patrol officers. As far as the capabilities the vessels our response times will be cut in half and we have more than double the capacity of pumping water and working with land side fire operations in order to deal with fire situations. The Firestorm 36 manufactured by Metal Craft Marine is built from the keel up with fire fighting in mind. With the ability to pump twice as much water, respond in half the time as well as the more environmentally conscious design of the vessel the Firestorm 36 is expected to fulfill the role of the Harbor Police for decades to come. We think this is a universal platform and other ports I think will follow our lead on this

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