Historic fire boat to be celebrated during NFPA Conference & Expo

An event and tours will raise funds to preserve Fire Fighter, which responded to Ground Zero and the 'Miracle on the Hudson'


By Leila Merrill

BOSTON — The historic vessel Fire Fighter will be celebrated on June 6 in conjunction with the NFPA Conference & Expo.

Telgian is bringing the fire boat to Boston to help drive awareness of the fire boat and to raise funds to preserve the vessel. The Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to preserving Fire Fighter as an operational vessel, memorial and teaching museum.

The historic vessel Fire Fighter will be docked in Boston at the same time as the National Fire Protection Association Conference & Expo and will be open for tours.
The historic vessel Fire Fighter will be docked in Boston at the same time as the National Fire Protection Association Conference & Expo and will be open for tours. (Photo/Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum)

A welcoming event will include speakers from Telgian and the NFPA on the boat’s significance, the NFPA’s 125th anniversary, and both organizations’ history in life and fire safety. The event includes a chance to meet local fire professionals and a water display.

“Fire Fighter is the most award-decorated fireboat in the world and a true embodiment of the commitment and sacrifice of firefighters and fire protection professionals across the nation,” Telgian President and CEO James Tomes said in a news release. Tomes serves on the Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum Board of Directors. “The opportunity to show off the legendary power of the Fire Fighter through its water display in the Boston Harbor will help grow visibility for this historic vessel and also raise awareness for the preservation of this truly unique piece of American maritime history.”  

Designed by naval architect William Francis Gibbs in 1938, Fire Fighter can pump 20,000 gallons of water per minute to nine topside fire monitors. It is powered by one of the first diesel-electric powerplants ever fitted to a vessel of its size. In the fire boat’s 72-year career, it has responded to major events in U.S. history. Those include:

  • 9/11: Fire Fighter spent three weeks in a marathon pumping operation for firefighting and recovery efforts at Ground Zero.
  • US Airways Flight 1549 Hudson River Landing: Fire Fighter participated in the rescue efforts of passengers aboard US Airways Flight 1549 when it landed in the Hudson River.
  • World War II: Fire Fighter stood ready to protect the New York Harbor as other ships were preparing to depart for war in Europe, and provided service during fires on the historic SS Normandie and the munitions ship El Estero.

Fire Fighter was decommissioned in 2010.

Fire Fighter will be docked at the Moakley Courthouse Dock in Boston Harbor, and public tours will be offered through June 11. Tickets can be found at https://americasfireboat.org.

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