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DC Fireboat Celebrates a Century of Service

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

(Washington, DC) For 100 years, DC firefighters have been protecting the city’s waterfront, responding to fires and performing daring river rescues. Thursday marks the centennial of the establishment of the DC Fire/EMS fireboat.

Placed in service on December 8, 1905, Engine 19, then located at 7th and Water Streets, SW, was designated as the Fireboat Company. After a fire at a brick plant that threatened the Washington Navy Yard, Congress helped the District obtain a 100-foot firefighting boat, capable of pumping 6,000 gallons of water per minute. The “Firefighter” was in service until 1946, when the Fireboat Company was moved to its current location, 550 Water Street, SW with a new boat, also named the “Firefighter”, which remained in service until 1978.

DC Fire/EMS’ fireboat company has evolved into a modern marine-based fire and rescue unit, maintaining several vessels, including the 70-foot John Glenn, which the District obtained in 1978. The DC Fireboat River Rescue Team provides year-round, 24/7 fire rescue services for the nation’s capital.

Fireboat personnel are certified and trained in swift water rescue, ice rescue, confined space rescue, and hazardous materials response. Personnel are also certified emergency medical technicians, expanding their versatility in operating in all Fire/EMS roles.

We invite you to visit our Fireboat and see first-hand the services being provided by some of the finest firefighters and EMTs in the country. Call (202) 673-3331 to arrange coverage, or call Alan Etter at (202) 345-6371.