My department operates in a distrtict that is located along the shores of Lake Erie, in New York State. Curently we operate a small rescue boat that has proven to be not large enough for the increase in calls we have been getting for distressed boaters and swimmers as well as missing swimmers. The shoreline consists mostly of high cliffs, with occassional beach/cove areas along a 42 mile span that is considered within our water response area. We work closely with the Coast Guard, but we are the first line of response as the USCG is about a 30+ minute boat ride away from our district. Our department is committed to providing our members with the safest means possible to effectively condust water rescue operations as well as providin our citizens and visitors assistance when needed. I ask you today to assist me in making any suggestions regarding RHIB and RIB boat maunfactures, sharing your experiences, as well as any possible funding ideas so that we may attain a lager vessel to work from.

Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions on this topic!

Stay safe brothers and sisters!

William BIlls, Capatain

Fire Department of Westfield.

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Waddington NY Fire Department bought a great RHIB (ridgid hull inflatable boat) through the coast guard surplus..its in great shape had 2 motors with it (they traded those in toward a new one) and haven't had any issues...Clayton Fire has Fire boats equiped with massive pumps (I think 7000gpm) they could help you if you go that route.....Good luck...
Thanks guys!
We have a 30' fire boat with twin outboards and a 3000 gpm pump that can also provide jet propulsion. It was built by Northwind Marine in Seatle. We are located on the southern shores of Lake Erie between Toledo and Cleveland. It's a much better platform for our members than the old 23' Whaler. Try a FEMA grant. If you want pictures or more info send me an email.

Lt. Paul Hasenmeier
Huron (OH) Fire Department
Here is our fire/rescue boat it has been a big asset to our department for water response we can use it for water supply to people on land via 5 inch supply line we also have a foam inductor for boat fires etc it also has a door on the left side when taken off, the floor of the boat is about 2 inch's above the water for easy access for the stokes basket/rescue swimmers. the boat is made by sea ark and also has sum really nice sonar equipment if you have any ? feel free to ask :)
Seattle Fire Dept.:

The surplus USCG Safe Boats are nice, I wish that we had one. We have large fireboats, but we utilize several RHIB's as rescue boats. The Zodiac brand has proven to be tougher than the other brands that we have tried, which seem to get damaged much more often. It might seem like an obvious comment, but make sure that the vessel you purchase has enough floor/deck space for a supine patient on a backboard. Our RHIB's do not have that space, but we need to be able to squeeze between the numerous pier pilings along our downtown waterfront.

As far as outboard engines go, we are VERY pleased with the Evenrude E-Tech that we have on one of our RHIB's. It is superior to all of the other outboards that we use. It has more power for its size, and it starts with NO problem in the colder weather. It really is a great outboard engine for a rescue boat.
Paul, do you know if they went through the GSA site to pick up the surplus boat. We just aren't sure how to go about getting a surplus Coast Guard RHIB. That is what we are looking for.

2nd Asst Chief WFD
Dave Davies
Thanks Guys! I hope I continue to recieve ideas/suggestions.

Anyone have any idea how to go about procuring a surplus vessel? That sounds like a great direction to go, but I have been hitting dead ends when conducting web searches.
I would like to suggest a project I have been working on, and that is being realized right now.

I am a EMT and water rescue swimmer with the Italian Red Cross. In my daily life design stuff and develop innovation programs and project.

I have designed the Rescue-B when I got so frustrated at not finding anything that would fit our operational needs, we always need to adapt and we never were happy. You can see the boat and its characteristic at . We started from a dedicated EMS platform but we are now working at a Fire version among others.
If you are interested drop me a line at so that you can tell me what kind of specs you are looking for, and I can share some more details.

Hope this is helpful!

p.s.: You can also have a look at a the innovation studio website at
We have a Zodiac 36' LRI with twin jet drives and cummins deisel engines. This boat has allowed us to respond to jobs 135knm from Beaufort Inlet and get home safe with no concerns. It is a cabin boat that has seats for 4 crew members. With the jet drives this makes it nice for rugged shorelines because you can get in and out without messing up running gear. I am looking to sell this boat to put a 41' vessel online if interested let me know 252-945-8995.
also it is a rigid hull foam back collar on this boat it was built in 2005
Perhaps you should be thinking smaller and more portable.

Take a look at what Firefighters in the metro Atlanta area are training with:
We had our new fire-rescue boat delivered in Spetember. It is made by Rescue One and we love it. They have info. on obtaining grants on their web site I"m sure they and other manufacturers would tell you what types of grants have been used to purchase their boats. Good luck!

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