Charleston’s new fire boat temporarily out of service

Charleston Fire Department intoduced its new fire-fighting boat on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 at the Maritime Center. (FILE/Tyrone Walker/postandcourier.com) Buy this photo

One of the Charleston Fire Department’s newest additions, a more than $800,000 fire boat, is temporarily out of service.

The boat, which was christened in late November, is currently undergoing repair issues, according to Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh.

Issues were discovered after the delivery of the boat, according to Julazadeh. The manufacturer sent representatives and they are currently working on the vessel, he said.

The work is taking place at a boat yard in North Charleston, where the North Charleston Fire Department’s new boat is also being worked on, according to Charleston Deputy Fire Chief John Tippet.

North Charleston Fire Department’s boat is undergoing “routine maintenance,” according to North Charleston fire spokeswoman Bianca Sancic.

Charleston’s boat had a few issues after it was delivered, according to Tippet. “These are things that we discovered during our shake out of the boat operations,” he said.

Some of the electronics needed to be adjusted or repaired. All of the repairs are under warranty, Tippet said. The boat should be back in service in a few days, according to Tippet.

In the meantime, an automatic aid agreement around the Lowcountry will assist while the boats are being repaired. St. Johns Fire Department’s boat is in service.

The fire boats have specific firefighting capabilities and can pump 3,800 gallons of water per minute. A 980-horsepower diesel engine provides the power.

Charleston’s boat was paid for through a $825,000 federal grant and $33,000 from the City of Charleston.

New engines
Charleston Fire Department received two new fire engines, replacing two of their older models. The two in-service Piece Arrow XT fire engines replace a 1989 model at a West Ashley fire station and a 1991 model at the Daniel Island fire station.

“The addition of these two engines continues the City’s commitment to upgrading the fleet with state of the art apparatus,” said Deputy Fire Chief John Tippet. “The increased firefighting capacity, improved safety features, equipment upgrades, and standardization of the fleet are providing the firefighting force with the best tools to protect the community.”

Among the firefighting tools onboard, the trucks are also each equipped with LED warning lights, seat belt monitoring system, officer side speedometer, a generator, and seating for five people. One of the engines also has equipment to Engine 120 has also been equipped with “the jaws of life,” used to rescue people trapped in their vehicles.

The older vehicles were moved to the reserve fleet.

Firefighter saves fellow firefighter
A Charleston firefighter has been recognized for his life-saving actions of a fellow firefighter. Engineer Kevin Land was named the Exchange Club of Charleston Firefighter of the Year on Jan. 17.

On July 15, 2012 firefighters from Engine 110 and Tower 105, including Land, were having dinner at Ryan’s Steak House on Saint Andrews Blvd. in West Ashley.

A firefighter started to choke on a piece of steak and “began showing signs of cyanosis,” according to Charleston Fire Department officials. Land performed the Heimlich maneuver and cleared the firefighter’s airway.

“His service exemplifies the dedication, training, courage, and commitment that are the traditions of a Charleston Firefighter. Engineer Kevin Land’s calm and quick action averted a potentially tragic situation,” Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh said in an email.

Land has been with the Charleston Fire Department since 1996.

Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.

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