A decommissioned New York Fire Department vessel that responded to the 9/11 attacks was docked at Boston Harbor on Monday as part of the National Fire Protection Association Conference & Expo being held this week in the Hub, officials said.
The vessel, dubbed Fire Fighter, docked Monday morning at the Moakley Courthouse Dock located at 1 Courthouse Way in the Seaport, according to a statement from fire protection company Telgian, which brought the boat to Boston for the conference that runs through Thursday.
Public tours of the boat, decommissioned in 2010 after a storied run that included the 9/11 response and assisting the daring 2009 rescue of the crew and passengers of US Airways Flight 1549 after it landed on the Hudson River, will be available from Monday through Saturday. Tour information is available online at http://americasfireboat.org.
The statement said Telgian brought the boat to Boston to raise awareness about its history and raise funds to preserve the vessel. It was designed in 1938 and stood ready to protect New York Harbor during World War II, when it “provided courageous service during fires on the historic SS Normandie and munitions ship El Estero,” the statement said.
Jim Pauley, president and chief executive officer of the fire protection association, said in the statement that his group was honored to bring Fire Fighter to Boston to mark the group’s 125th anniversary.
“In many ways, the storied history of the fireboat mirrors the perseverance and determination of NFPA and the fire and life safety community as a whole,” Pauley said. “This is an exciting event that helps recognize our commonalities. It also presents a unique opportunity for attendees of the NFPA 2022 Conference and Expo to experience the Fire Fighter firsthand.”
According to the statement, Fire Fighter was considered a modern engineering marvel when it came online, capable of pumping 20,000 gallons of water per minute to nine topside fire monitors. The boat was also powered by one of the first diesel-electric powerplants ever fitted to a vessel of its size, the statement said.
In fact, the statement continued, Fire Fighter’s cutting-edge design was so advanced that throughout its entire 72-year career, the boat stayed in an essentially unchanged operational condition, outlasting all its contemporaries and most FDNY fireboats half its age.
These days, Fire Fighter’s a floating museum.
The statement said the The Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the boat as a fully operational vessel, memorial, and teaching museum.
“Showcasing Fire Fighter to the dedicated members of the fire protection community will be instrumental as we continue our work together to preserve the Fire Fighter,” Charles Ritchie, president and founder of the museum, said in the statement.
His words were echoed in the release by James Tomes, Telgian’s president and chief executive officer.
“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,” said Tomes, who also serves on the museum’s board. “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.”