The Boston Fire Department is adding a new vehicle to its fleet that will help the city respond to flooding, devastating storms, and other weather-related events.
The department described the vehicle as “an off-road six-wheel drive brush fire fighting unit that allows access to difficult to reach brush fires in remote wooded areas of the city such as West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Dorchester. Its capabilities as a brush unit include a forty-gallon foam tank, a one-thousand-gallon water tank with accompanying pump and attached hose lines allowing for a large water supply in areas where fire hydrants are not available. In comparison, the fire engines used in residential firefighting are equipped with a five-hundred-gallon water tank.”
The vehicle has another use, as well.
“The second use for this vehicle is as a high-water rescue vehicle,” the department said in a statement. “For high-water rescue incidents the brush fire components; the water tank and attached hose lines are removed from the vehicle exposing a large seated area that is capable of transporting upwards of thirty individuals trapped in dangerous rising water situations.”
The vehicle’s dimensions make it ideal for saving people.
“Because of the vehicles high wheel base, it can be used to go through over four feet of water and rescue victims trapped in buildings or areas threatened by rising water levels such as the storm that affected the SeaPort district several years ago,” the statement said. “This vehicle also has a 3000-pound capacity rear mounted retractable stair lift to assist injured or physically challenged victims into the vehicle during rescue operations.”
Fire officials will store the unit in West Roxbury.
It “will be deployed in the downtown area during coastal flooding and severe inclement weather such as a major snowstorm,” the statement said.