Charleston’s new fire boat was temporarily out of service

The fire boat acquired by the Charleston Fire Department in November had been out of service for a week for repairs but was back on the water Friday. Buy this photo

One of the Charleston Fire Department’s newest additions, a fire boat that cost more than $800,000, returned to service Friday after being out of commission for a week.

The boat, which was christened in late November, already had some repair issues, including problems with its on-board electronics, fire officials said.

Problems were discovered after the delivery of the boat, according to Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh. The manufacturer sent representatives to work on the vessel, Julazadeh said.

The work took place at a boat yard in North Charleston, according to Deputy Fire Chief John Tippet. Crews finished the repairs Friday, he said.

“These are things that we discovered during our shakeout of the boat operations,” he said.

All the parts were under warranty, Tippet said.

While the boat was down, an automatic aid agreement around the Lowcountry guaranteed that the city would be protected, officials said. The St. Johns Fire Department’s boat was in service during this time.

The 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 an $825,000 federal grant and $33,000 from the city of Charleston.

In other news, the Charleston Fire Department recently 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 station.

“The addition of these two engines continues the city’s commitment to upgrading the fleet with state of the art apparatus,” Tippet said. “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.”

Along with firefighting tools onboard, the trucks also are equipped with LED warning lights, a seat belt monitoring system, an officer-side speedometer, a generator and seating for five people. One of the engines also has been equipped with a Jaws of Life tool used to rescue people trapped in vehicles.

The older vehicles were moved to the reserve fleet.

Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594.

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