Lake Assault Boats building new fireboat for Pittsburgh

Ken Hocke
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Lake Assault Boats, Superior, Wis., is building a new 34’x11′ deep v aluminum hull fireboat for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire.

The fireboat will respond to emergencies and help manage fires on waterways, waterfronts, rail lines, and marinas that lie along the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, which join together in Pittsburgh to form the Ohio River. The contract is valued at more than $540,000. The vessel will be delivered in summer 2017.

Main propulsion will come from twin Yamaha F300 4.2L V-6 outboard motors, capable of a top speed greater than 40 mph. The firefighting system will feature a compact Hale 80FC pump flowing up to 3,000 gpm, which will be powered by a dedicated 6.6L Duramax V-8 diesel engine. The fire pump will include a 6″ main discharge that feeds a number of outlets, including bow and stern mounted TFT Hurricane monitors, each capable of producing 1,250 gpm.

The 11′ pilot master cabin is designed to offer the operator enhanced outward visibility and will include a 15,000 btu rooftop AC unit, an adjustable (and full suspension) operator’s seat, additional bench seating, SCBA mounting brackets, a chart table with storage, and a cuddy cabin for general storage.

The new fireboat also will feature a full spectrum of Garmin electronics, including chart plotter, HD radar, sonar, and a forward looking infrared (FLIR) system, all controlled through 12″ and 16″ touchscreens. Other notable features will include a full complement of LED floodlights and spotlights, a raised engine compartment/work deck, an automatic engine compartment fire suppression system, a hinged radar arch, dive bottle racks, and a removable canvas awning.

“We are thrilled to be appointed by the city of Pittsburgh and its Equipment Leasing Authority to engineer and construct this extremely powerful fireboat to protect resources that lie along the city’s iconic riverfront areas,” Chad DuMars, Lake Assault Boats vice president of operations, said in a statement announcing the contract. “Our team is especially excited to manufacture the first fireboat in its class capable of pumping up to 3,000 gallons of water per minute.”

Once delivered, Lake Assault will provide three days of onsite training with Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire personnel. DuMars added, “Pittsburgh hasn’t had a fireboat in service in more than [40] years, and this purchase reflects a major commitment by the city to better protect vital resources that simply can’t be reached by traditional firefighting apparatus.”

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Pittsburgh is paying Lake Assault Boats $540,000 to build the city a new fireboat. Lake Assault Boats image