Albero continues his laughable lack of knowledge concerning the fire department. For whatever reason he now attacks the marine division and the equipment at their disposal. First let me state the fire department has for it’s entire history had in its jurisdiction, protection and service over the riverfront, and ponds in and around Salisbury. Indeed I can recall times when the boats from Salisbury were called to assist other departments within the entire lower shore. A practice that continues to this day.
The marine division responsibilities are many. With the petroleum tank farms along the river west of Salisbury the marine division has the obligation of protection to the offloading racks and the barges that service the facilities. This goes beyond fire situation. The marine division must train and be prepared to mitigate any spill that may occur. This is done with the co-operation of SMAG. The marina is always a source of target hazards. Again spills, fires, and persons overboard present a constant a real threat.
Salisbury has an underwater recovery team. The marine division is often responsible for getting the team to the area where needed. While divers are down it is the operators of the watercrafts responsibility to maintain a clear area of safety on the surface.
New condominium construction along the waterfront also presents a great and real challenge to the fire department. The river effectively creates a unique problem to accessing at least one side of the building. It could very well fall to the marine division to provide this access, and if necessary egress to occupants and fire fighters alike.
In order to perform these tasks the marine division must train in many different environments in many different locations. In order to train and operate it must be mobile. To be mobile and effective it must be diverse. To accomplish all this it must have a variety of vehicles and crafts available to fill the immediate need.
Albero apparently feels the two crafts he has shown us constitutes a navy. Hardly so. The larger of two, Marine 1, is a 25-foot craft bought several years ago to replace an old steel hulled vessel that was bought used and was originally a sounding vessel used on the Mississippi River. That craft was very slow and rapid deployment was never really possible. The versatility needed for new challenges did not exist with this craft.
The current Marine 1 now is also deficient to the growing needs of the city. The fire pump on this craft is only rated for about 500 GPM. At that flow rate the firefighting capability is severely limited and the ability to supply a land-based fire engine is practically non-existent.
Marine 2 is an 18-foot inflatable craft with a 90 HP outboard designed for very rapid deployment and mobility to remote areas if needed. It is also a craft that can operate in swift water if called upon to do so. It easily can handle a 4 to 6 person crew for operations and if needed for multiple recoveries it is rated for 2400 lbs.
The “dually” Albero refers to in his first picture is a Utility Vehicle used by the fire department for any number of tasks requiring a pick-up truck. It is not assigned to the Marine Division. Using it to tow the marine crafts is only one of it’s many duties.
Additionally the Marine Division participates in Community Service. Yesterday, August 15th, Marine 1 was at Camp ESPA in Dorchester Co. If memory serves, Camp ESPA is operated by the Eastern Shore Police Association and caters to “special needs” and “at risk” kids.
Marine 1, Marine 2 & members of the marine division will be on hand September 8th for River fest in Salisbury. They will gladly offer tours of the crafts and answer any questions about their vital function within the fire department and the community. The public is cordially invited.
Salisbury is the second busiest port in the State of Maryland. Continued growth in the area and increased need for petroleum products will only increase the use of this port. As I stated before, Marine 1 is deficient to the needs placed upon it. I am reliably informed that a grant study is underway and a larger more reliable and versatile craft is the end goal. A craft that has an increased water flow capacity and a foam system suitable for sustained operation. A 30 to 40 foot craft that will exceed the current needs for the port and the city and will not be obsolete before its time.
The closest Coast Guard detachment to Salisbury is Crisfield. That’s along way away in the case of an emergency in our home waters. Therefore it falls squarely on the fire department to provide the service and protection needed for the port, marina, condominiums, errant swimmers, accidental falls overboard, and on many occasions assistance to police departments for evidence recovery.
Yes Albero, they have some pretty nice stuff. A more accurate statement is they keep their stuff pretty nice. In order to maintain an effective Marine operation the Marine Division of the Fire Department must soon upgrade. This is not because of a simple desire to have something new or bigger, but insurance ratings and liability demand it. I have also heard the words “Homeland Security” used when discussing this issue. I will say no more about that because unlike you I refuse to speculate on what I know little about. You need to stick to all your cars, camper, dogs and horses and leave the fire dept alone. You will never understand their total scope of responsibility because you do not understand what it means to be responsible. It is a growing and ever changing challenge. And just for the record Albero, that razor sharp memory of yours has failed. There was no pontoon boat ordered for river clean-up. At least not by the fire department.
Hmmm. I guess I shouldn’t have mentioned dogs and horses. After all, according to you family is off limits.