Marine Firefighting Inc.

Recent seminars

Fire Drill on the Hudson

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Marine Firefighting Inc. (MFI) delivered a two day seminar for the Fire Departments of New Hamburg and Hughsonville on the Hudson River in New York State. The seminars dealt with "Small Boat and Marina Fires" and also with "Emergency Operations with Small Fireboats".

Both Departments have their own fire boats. The New Hamburg boat (photo left) has dual outboards while the Hughonville boat is a jet drive. While the day for the marina fire seminar was stormy, the day for the fireboat operations couldn't have been more beautiful.

The training was carried out over two weekends as both Departments are volunteer and their members worked during the week. MFI is able to schedule its training to meet your Departments hours and work chart.

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After a morning session of classroom seminars we took the boats out on the river to put them through their paces. Several exercises were planned and all the students got the opportunity to participate.

In the classroom we taught that if there is no life at risk, any boat with a major fire should first be hit from a distance.

Using the reach of your stream, while holding your boat's position in the water, is not as easy as it sounds. The back pressure of the stream will try to move your boat while you are trying to hold it still.

Several methods of maintaining the boats position were discussed and practiced. Each boat had its own operating techniques. Handling the jet drive was somewhat different than the conventional propeller. New procedures were taught, however it requires constant drills to maintain proficiency. Is your Department informed about small boat and marina firefighting? Click the camera again to see the next photo.

















A stationary object was needed and a nearby navigational buoy was recruited to act as our target. Each boat took turns trying to hold the stream on the buoy. Each boat operator had a chance to practice this difficult skill. They were told they would not master this talent in just this one day of training. Today was to show some of the shortcuts to help maintain control. This is a skill that requires regular drills to practice those shortcuts.

The weather and current helped to make it easier to hold the boat still. It is also a good idea, after initial practice, to try this with winds and strong currents. We all know that we will get the emergency call in the worst possible conditions. Remember "Murphy's Law", If it can go wrong; it will. And it will go wrong at the worst possible time.

By the time that both boats had practiced with each operator we had a very clean buoy. Click camera for next photo


































One of the other boat skills taught during the Marine Firefighting Inc. seminar was towing another boat in an emergency. We had two fireboats so the New Hamburg boat did the towing and the Hughsonville boat acted as the vessel in distress. During other seminars we had to recruit another vessel.

During the class we discussed several procedures used in towing another boat. For our practice tow we actually used two different methods of towing.

At first we took the disabled boat in tow with a line from the stern (rear) of the tow boat.

Neither Department had the towing bridle discussed in class so we improvised by making one. The bridle makes it much easier to control a boat being towed.

Once again the calm winds and lack of any current made our job a little less difficult.

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The second method of towing that we taught was towing the other vessel "on the hip". In this maneuver the vessel in distress is lashed tightly alongside the boat doing the towing .

The lines must be tied in a specific order and the boats positioned properly so that the two boats will act as one. It's not easy and requires several lines of different lengths as well as quite a few fenders.

When performed properly the operator of the boat doing the towing will be able to steer the two boats safely, and in close quarters such as into the marina you may be trying to reach. In all cases the students were told that you should not tie up to any vessel in imminent danger of sinking.

We also stress the importance of having the best available medically trained Firefighter on your fireboat. You will be working away from land and help may take too long to get to you if someone is injured. Click the camera again to see the next page.


























I would like to thank Chief Joseph Moore Jr. NHFD for showing his interest in the safety of his Firefighters by setting up this training. I would also like to thank all the officers and members of the New Hamburg (River Rats) and Hughsonville Fire Departments for their dedication and interest in doing the job right.

Hopefully this training will prevent an injury or death in any future fires and emergencies to which either Department responds. Both Departments adhere to the adage:

"Let no man say his training let him down."


Don't your Firefighters and Officers deserve the proper training to keep them safe? Why not call Marine Firefighting Inc. today to set up your own training seminar.

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Whether you have a Fireboat or not, is your Department ready to handle a large scale Marina Fire? Do your Firefighters know how to safely operate at a marina or small boat fire? If you do have a fireboat do your Firefighters know how to operate it safely at emergencies?

Contact Marine Firefighting Inc. today to set up your date for our seminar about "Small Boat and Marina Fires" or "Emergency Ops With Small Fireboats"

Click on either title to get details of seminars.

To have your Department featured here, contact us via e-mail for directions on how to send us your marine fire photo files. Be Safe!

Marine Firefighting Inc.