The Fire Fighter Fireboat Museum is a fireboat that was used in front line service for over seven decades in New York Harbor. During her time in service, she was the most award-decorated fireboat in the world and, at the time of her decommissioning, she was the second oldest fireboat in the world still active in front-line service.
Built in 1938 as a powerful, state-of-the-art, diesel-electric ship, Fire Fighter was added to a fleet of nine fireboats in New York Harbor, which, in the 1930’s, was cargo piers, terminals, and shipyards – not the parks and condominiums of today. As such, the volume of diverse traffic was chaotic, astounding, and accident prone – thus the necessity for a ship of Fire Fighter’s profile.
Built of riveted steel, Fire Fighter measures 134 feet long with a 32ft beam powered by two 1500 horsepower, 16-cylinder diesel engines. She was outfitted with four pumps capable of delivering up to 20,000 gallons of water per minute. She was so powerful and new that part of her first year of duty included serving as both fire protection and a popular exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows.
Fire Fighter served her purpose well during the ammunition laden harbor days of World War II, as well as her pier fire-fighting days after the war. In the late 60’s, she switched berths to Staten Island, in order to watch over the harbor’s mouth and, moving to Homeport in the 90’s, was on hand for the events of September 11th, 2001.
Despite her age, Fire Fighter remained one of the most powerful ships in the FDNY fleet until her decommissioning in 2010. She is the third-oldest fireboat in the United States and fifth oldest in the World. Fire Fighter is further unique in that she remains essentially unchanged from her launch date, so forward-thinking was her design. As the most decorated fireboat in the world and a registered National Landmark, Fire Fighter is a truly significant piece of American history and a fascinating landmark to visit.
Fire Fighter Fireboat Museum
Mitchell Park Dock, Front Street, Greenport, NY 11944
For directions and further details, please visit: fireboatfirefighter.org
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