Lake Assault Boats, Superior, Wis., has delivered a 32′ fireboat, Marine 24, to the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District (TDFPD), Lake Tahoe, Nev.
The custom-built craft is in service round the clock, with marine firefighter training for all crews to be completed this spring. The boat is designed to respond to structural and wild fires, and on-the-water rescue operations. It is funded, in part, by donations and membership fees in a fee-for-service program.
The V-hull, landing-craft-style fireboat is outfitted with twin 350-hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboard engines, and is equipped with the Mercury Skyhook digital anchor and joystick piloting systems that significantly improve the craft’s on-the-water performance. It features a 1,500-gpm Darley pump (powered by a dedicated V-8 engine), a rooftop remote-controlled Task Force Tips Monsoon monitor, two deck monitors, and a large diameter hose discharge mounted in front of the pilothouse to supply land-based apparatus. The boat also sports a 74″ hydraulically operate bow door (with an integrated ladder), a port-side dive door, and hose storage compartments.
“We are thrilled to have this Lake Assault fireboat serve with the Tahoe Douglas FPD to help protect lives, property, and natural resources on one of our nation’s most revered bodies of water,” Chad DuMars, Lake Assault’s vice president of operations, said in a statement announcing the delivery. “The craft’s powerful firefighting system enables the boat to function like a floating fire hydrant, and its rescue capabilities offer first responders the flexibility to respond to any emergency.”
The pilothouse is 11’x9’6″, with center position fore and aft doors, 80″ of headroom, and an integrated helm station. Its onboard electronics include dual 12″ touchscreens mounted on the dash, Garmin radar and sonar with GPS, chartplotting, structure/side scan, and a forward looking infrared (FLIR) system.
An independent, third-party fire engineer reviewed strategies to address the area’s fire protection requirements, and supported the TDFPD board of trustees’ decision to approve the fireboat purchase. “A comprehensive plan has been developed to aid firefighting in areas without a traditional fire suppression water supply,” explained Scott Baker, fire chief for TDFPD. “The new boat will give our firefighters access to a much larger water supply, and one that is pumped from the lake in a safe and ecological manner. This new capability will directly save lives, property, and our precious Lake Tahoe environment from catastrophic fire damage.”
“Homes today around Lake Tahoe are larger, built closer together, and are located farther from the lake, while emergency access is hampered by narrow roads and limited turnarounds for responding fire trucks,” added Eric Guevin, fire marshal for TDFPD. “That makes this fireboat an important new tool in our firefighting arsenal. We learned about Lake Assault through a neighboring department, and had several opportunities to see its boat in action. We really needed this apparatus to meet the code requirements and provide fire protection to homes along the lake that are not yet connected to a municipal water system.”