A new MetalCraft Marine Firestorm 70 fireboat left Ontario, Canada, today for its new home in Houston. The 70’10″x22’10” aluminum Fireboat 2 will spend two weeks making its way south on its own bottom to the Port of Houston from MetalCraft’s yard, where two sisterships for the port are also being built.
“It’s going to take about 12 days,” said MetalCraft’s Laurence Bishop about Fireboat 2’s delivery trip. “They’ll use five days to get across four Great Lakes.”
The boat will cross Lakes Ontario and Erie to Detroit and then across Lake Huron and Lake Michigan to Chicago. From Chicago, the journey will proceed on the Cumberland River with a stop at Lockport, Ill. Following along the Illinois River, the fireboat will head next to St. Louis and the Mississippi River with four stops — Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn.; Greenville, Miss.; and Baton Rouge, La. — on the way to New Orleans. Then there will be the penultimate stop at Galveston, Texas, before arriving at the Port of Houston on or about June 1.
“This is going to be great for us because the boat will be stopping at all these ports, and people will get a chance to see what this boat is made of,” said Bishop. “The Port of Houston needed some pretty sophisticated equipment aboard these boats.”
Construction of the new fireboats was partially financed using federal grant money.
Fireboat 2 features four firefighting pumps that can produce 13,600 gpm at 150 psi and 17,000 gpm at 130 psi. The new boat has three times the discharge rate of any of the current Port of Houston fireboat. As a shore hydrant, Fireboat 2 will be able to pump 7,000 gpm at 70 psi through 1,000′ feet of hose from a 5″ Storz outlet before staging pumps are required.
The crew can stay on station for extended periods. The cabin includes a primary care berth with four secondary berths in the cuddy. Portable berths can be positioned in the aft equipment cabin to handle the injured.
Meanwhile, the crew onboard Fireboat 2 is off on a north-south transcontinental journey. Good luck to them.