Homes and power stations around Lake Rabun, an 835-acre Georgia reservoir with 25 miles of shoreline, are now being protected by a 26 ft fireboat built by Superior, Wis., based Lake Assault Boats, a subsidiary of Fraser Shipyards, Inc.
Operated by the Rabun County Fire Sevices, the new craft provides fire suppression and emergency response services for homeowners, visitors, and Georgia Power facilities located on the lake.
“The combination of hydroelectric plants and a growing number of high-end waterfront single family homes in a region susceptible to wildfires make our on-the-water emergency response capabilities a critical part of our department’s mission,” said Captain John Murray of the Rabun County Fire Services. “The new fireboat has greatly improved our emergency response performance and significantly reduced our ISO rating.”
The 26-foot boat can quickly transport water into a network of standpipes located along the shoreline to supply lake water for ground-based firefighting operations. Additionally, its deck-mounted monitor enables the craft to conduct direct fire attack.
The fireboat is powered via twin 175 hp Mercury outboard engines, and features a 1,250 gpm fire pump driven by a marinized V-6 engine. The TFT Hurricane monitor is rated at 1,250 gpm and there are four discharge ports including one that feeds a 5-inch large diameter hose (LDH). Other features include a 63-inch hydraulically operated bow door capable of transporting ATVs, a swing-out side dive door, and a davit crane with two access points.
The T-top pilothouse is seven-feet long and has an interior clearance height of 76 inches. Its components include a helm station with fire pump and monitor controls, and a 12-inch touchscreen commands a full suite of advanced electronics, including: forward looking infrared (FLIR), sonar with side structure scan, chartplotter, and GPS.
“We’ve been blown away by our new fireboat’s performance – it is smooth, agile, quick to plane, and very easy to operate,” said Murray. “Plus, once on the scene, we can be flowing water in a matter of seconds.”