By Mark Edward Nero
A new $11.8 million fireboat designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants of Seattle and built by Vigor Industrial of Portland, Oregon has been delivered to the San Francisco Fire Dept.
The vessel is scheduled to be christened in October, after it has undergone testing.
The state-of-the-art 88-foot vessel, which has not yet had a name chosen for it, had been under construction since October 2014. Construction of the new boat was delayed several times for various reasons; at one point, the electrical subcontractor company working on it went bankrupt.
The fireboat was finally delivered to the city of San Francisco in late July after a three-day journey from the Pacific Northwest, the San Francisco Examiner reported earlier this month.
The vessel, currently known as Fireboat 3, is capable of pumping 18,000 gallons per minute through five water cannons. She is equipped with a stern launch ramp, similar to those US Coast Guard cutters use to deploy pursuit boats to capture smugglers.
Other features of the new vessel include: an enhanced foam firefighting system for the suppression of petroleum-based fires; a patient treatment area for EMS response; radiation detection equipment; remote firefighting systems to prevent firefighters being exposed to heat and smoke; a rapid deployment rescue boat; advanced marine electronics; command center; and an on-board compressor for filling air bottles for firefighting and dive operations.
The SF Fire Dept. says it paid for the new boat mostly with a port security grant along with $400,000 from the Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative.
The SFFD also has two other fireboats, Guardian, which entered service in 1990, and Phoenix, which was commissioned in 1955. Although the city says it is still contemplating whether to keep all three fireboats, the Phoenix had previously been scheduled for decommissioning as a cost-saving measure.
A christening for the vessel is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 17.