The Portland, Maine, fire department has a fleet of three vessels that provide emergency response to the city’s waterfront and islands of Casco Bay.

WorkBoat recently joined the department for its daily run to Diamond Cove on Great Diamond Island onboard the City of Portland IV fireboat. While onboard, Lt. Dave Crowley provided a tour of the vessel and discussed designing the City of Portland IV.

The vessel was designed by Robert Allan Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia, and delivered in July 2009. It was built at A.F. Theriault & Son Ltd., Meteghan, Nova Scotia. The 65’x18’x5’ aluminum monohull draws 4.5’ and weighs 37 tons.

Main propulsion comes from a Caterpillar C-12, diesel engine, producing 490 hp at 2,300 rpm. The main turns an Accutech 29"x26.5" 5-bladed prop through a ZF 305-3 A marine transmission. 

The vessel uses Cat controls and is capable of 17 knots.

To increase maneuverability, the fireboat is also outfitted with a Wesmar V10M counter rotating hydraulic bowthruster.

Electonics includes a Garmin 8600 Series navigation suite. 

Crowley pointed out the variety of water guns onboard, including nozzles on the bow and stern, a small remote control gun to extinguish fires below wharfs on the stern, and a Hale fire pump, capable of 3,500 gpm.

“If you take the two stern guns, point them backwards, fire up the pump and with the main engines in neutral, she’ll do eight knots," he said. "So that’s pretty substantial.” 

The vessel’s infirmary is designed to mimic the city of Portland’s local ambulances, which means medical technicians do not require any additional training to familiarize themselves with its layout.

The short video below shows a routine island service and unique specifications of the City of Portland IV fireboat.

Ben Hayden is a Maine resident who grew up in the shipyards of northern Massachusetts. He can be reached at (207) 842-5430 and [email protected].

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