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MFB fire fighting vessel on the water

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03 Jan 2013
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade has unveiled Fireboat 1, a fire fighting vessel which is operational and on the water in time for the busy summer period.

The 10.5 metre Promarine aluminium boat has been specially equipped with water and foam pumping capabilities, to assist firefighters in tackling marine emergencies in the Port of Melbourne and Docklands precincts.

It was funded as part of a $9.8 million project that will overhaul the marine response capabilities of the MFB, which will include current and future fire fighting vessels, equipment, training and operations over a five-year period.

In the past 12 months 100 MFB firefighters have completed Shipboard Fire Fighting training.  This includes a period of training in Tasmania at the Australian Maritime College.  An additional 40 firefighters have also been trained in Swift Water Rescue.

Acting Chief Officer Peter Rau said the vessel was officially commissioned on Monday December 31 and is now available to respond to calls as required.

“Fireboat 1 adds to the fire prevention and suppression system already in place in ports and marinas in Melbourne; other emergency services, boat owners and port operators all have a role to play,” Mr Rau said.

“MFB has the ability to use a small fleet of three fire fighting vessels, including the newly commissioned Fireboat 1.  For marine emergencies, MFB will provide both a land and marine response.”

MFB Chief Executive Officer Nick Easy said the vessel was an important investment in protecting marine assets within the Metropolitan District. 

“Over the past 12 months, MFB has made a significant investment in our marine response capacity and capability, including bolstering our equipment, training and operations,” Mr Easy said.

“It has been nine months since the blaze that destroyed the luxury motor yacht in Docklands. While this was contained and no adjoining assets were damaged, this new fireboat is a significant boost for the community and the management of fire risks in the marine environment. Capacity will grow further with the addition of a purpose-built fire vessel, the procurement of which is well advanced.

“The growth of waterside living, recreation, business development and burgeoning trade in the Port of Melbourne and Docklands precinct has meant that the MFB capability needed to be strengthened to meet growing demand.”

Fireboat 1 is currently moored at North Wharf, Docklands and firefighters from West Melbourne Fire Station will respond to marine calls.

 

 

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