Wilmington firefighters get confidence on the water

It should be smooth sailing for the Wilmington Fire Department which received a brand new boat to help firefighters battle blazes on or near the water.

Fire officials joined Wilmington Mayor James Baker and Congressman John Carney at Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park to dedicate the $3.5 million vessel. The upgrade will help the department cover waters not only in Wilmington, but as far as Lewes.

Last year, the City of Wilmington worked out a deal with Metal Craft Marine in New York to build the fire boat which replaces a 35 year old vessel that ran extremely slow.

“We’re extremely excited today,” said Fire Chief Willie Patrick who admitted that the old boat was just too hard to maintain.

“The work that you do, the sacrifices that you make, the risks that you take on our behalf, the least that we can do is make sure you have the equipment and facility to do that job and to do it well,” said Congressman Carney during the dedication ceremony.

Most of the funds for the fireboat came from a Federal Emergency Management Administration Port Security Grant.  Additional funding came thanks to Public Service Electric and Gas Company, Midstream Magellan Partners, and the City of Wilmington.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.