GALLIPOLIS — On Friday, February 8, the Gallipolis Fire Department accepted delivery of a 2013 “Rescue-One” boat.
According to Gallipolis Fire Chief Keith Elliott, the rescue boat is a 16-foot, flat bottom boat with an aluminum hull and is equipped with a 40hp outboard motor. It was built by Rescue-One of Huntsville, Alabama, specifically for use as a water rescue boat.
Elliott further reported that the boat purchase, which was approved by the Gallipolis City Commission in December 2012, will greatly improve the fire departments response capability.
“With area flooding and having the Ohio River along our border, a rescue boat has been needed for some time now,” Elliott said.
In addition to the boat, the department also purchased water rescue and ice rescue equipment. This equipment consists of swift water life vests, helmets, gloves, dry suits and an ice suit. While the dry suits allow firefighters to work in cooler water temperatures, the ice suit will allow firefighters to operate in extreme cold water operations and rescues.
Funds to purchase the new rescue boat and equipment came from the city’s fire levy. This levy, approved by city residents in the late 1990s, allows the department to purchase needed equipment and replace aging fire trucks.
“We live in a great community where support for the fire department is tremendous. Without the fire levy and support from the community, we could not continue to purchase new equipment like this or replace fire apparatus as needed,” Elliott said.