APRIL 23, 2014 — Fire Departments in South Carolina and Minnesota have recently taken delivery of Response FR-28 and FR-31J fire/rescue boats built of welded aluminum by Viking Welding & Fabrication, Kensington, NH, and designed by Response Marine, MA.
Instead of a traditional forward cuddy cabin, both the FR-280 and FR-31J feature a forward cockpit, which improves crew safety and helmsman visibility in situations where crew are required to work from the forward third of the boat.
The FR-28 specifications were developed by Mount Pleasant, SC, Fire Department to improve firefighting and rescue capability in the coastal areas surrounding Mount Pleasant, which include Charleston Harbor, Gray Bay and Hamlin Sound. The boat was largely funded by a federal grant.
The 28' x 9½' boat provides over 1,250 gallons per minute of water flow at 150 psi through a any of a combination of the 1500 gpm foredeck monitor, the two aft 2½" outlets, and the aft 5" Storz outlet.
Primary propulsion is by twin 225 hp Mercury Verado outboards providing sprint speeds of 43 mph. The pilothouse arrangement includes a convertible patient bench and dedicated fire control station.
Norm Allen of Mt. Pleasant Fire Department says "This has been a long procurement process for us, but we are thrilled to have the boat in service, on time and built with such attention to quality. Viking and Response Marine spent a lot of time working on details with us to improve the boat, all the while staying within our budget. We are excited to have a boat with such great capabilities!"
The Response FR-31J design and outfitting were developed in partnership with the St. Paul Fire Department to suit the department's protection mission on the Mississippi River.
The 31' x 10' boat provides over 3,000 gallons per minute water flow through a combination of the 2,000 gpm forward monitor, the aft 1250 gpm monitor, the 1500 gpm foredeck monitor, two 2 ½" outlets and a 5" Storz outlet. The fire fighting system also includes a 35 gallon foam tank and in-line eductor.
Primary propulsion is by twin 250 hp Mercury Verado outboards with a center jet driven by a Kodiak 6.0 liter, 375 hp engine providing sprint speeds of 48 mph with the jet and 42 mph without the jet. The jet discharge flows through a custom, 6" hydraulically operated diverter valve to provide propulsion and/or fire fighting.
Navigation, rescue and recovery electronics include FLIR thermal imaging and Lowrance 4G color radar.
The pilothouse arrangement includes a convertible patient bench, fire control station and a commander desk for navigation, communication and coordination. In addition to the oversized sliding door aft, the house features two side sliding doors for quick access to the side decks and forward cockpit.
Other recent and current projects at Viking Welding & Response Marine include a 32' fire/rescue boat and a 25' environmental law enforcement boat for the State of New York.
Both FR-280 design delivered to Mount Pleasant FD (pictured below) and FR-31J feature forward cockpit rather than tradutional cuddy cabin