Lake Assault Boats, a manufacturer of purpose-built and mission-specific fire and rescue boats, has placed two fire and rescue boats into service with the San Bernardino County Fire Department in California.
The versatile landing craft style vessels – one 28 feet long and the other 26 feet long – are equipped to handle a wide range of emergency response scenarios.
Emergency response on water
“Having two of our boats on duty with the San Bernardino County Fire Department is an honour,” said Chad DuMars, Lake Assault Boats Vice President of Operations. “This is a highly regarded department that is charged with serving a very large and diverse fire protection district, and we are proud to help enhance their on-the-water emergency response capabilities.”
The 28-foot craft is stationed in Needles, California and serves on the Colorado River. “This boat serves multiple purposes along a vitally important stretch of the river; we can directly fight fire or support ground-based operations, and it has comprehensive dive and rescue capabilities,” explained Brian Wells, Engineer with the San Bernardino County Fire Department. “It also is designed to serve as a wildland team personnel carrier and ATV transport, addressing just about any emergency scenario that we encounter along the river.”
Protection against wildfires
The 26-foot boat provides protection to resources along Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear lake. “This mountainous region has a history of wildfires, and one of our unique challenges is protecting the many large houses that are close to shore but inaccessible by road,” said Wells. “We can station this boat at the backside of the house and use our deck monitor, or draft from the lake and take hose lines up to the fire scene. We can also lay hose lines to support land based fire apparatus.”
The fireboats are each outfitted with twin 300 hp Mercury Verado outboard engines and include the Skyhook Digital Anchor and Joystick Piloting systems. Both feature a 1500 gpm Darley pump (powered by a dedicated V-8 engine) along with a TFT monitor and three discharge ports.
The boats include a 63-inch hydraulically operate bow door (with an integrated ladder), dual dive doors, a davit crane with twin socket locations, and a full width T-top pilothouse. The onboard electronics include dual 12-inch touchscreens mounted on the dash, Garmin radar and sonar with SideVu and DownVu, chart plotting, and a forward looking infrared (FLIR) system.
Lake Assault provided three days of on-the-water orientation ahead of the boats being put into service.
“We first learned about Lake Assault through another fire department in the Tahoe area, and a couple of our guys flew up there to check it out,” said Wells. “When we started looking into their build quality, and ability to customise to meet our department’s requirements, they floated to the top of our list. We have come to learn that they are a first-class builder, and I would recommend Lake Assault to anybody.”