Halifax Fire and Emergency is looking to purchase a new fireboat, replacing the service’s existing watercraft and assisting the department’s firefighting capability around the Halifax Harbour.
The Halifax Regional Municipality issued a request for proposals (RFP) on Friday that provides details on the big-ticket item.
According to the documents, the boat has a budget of $1.1 million and will serve as a search and rescue tool as well as a firefighting apparatus.
The topic of a fireboat was brought up during this year’s Halifax Fire and Emergency budget proposal in February.
At the time, fire Chief Ken Stuebing said a new vessel was needed to replace the current fireboat — a rigid-hull inflatable — which was beyond its service life and no longer met the department’s needs.
The current vessel is also open to the elements, leaving any crew operating it exposed.
In contrast, the new fireboat will have an aluminum hull and be a maximum of 40 feet long.
It will be crewed by four people and will be capable of carrying up to five additional crew for “extensive operations” according to the document.
The proposed boat will have a deckhouse, a microwave and even a built-in washroom.
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This isn’t the first time that Halifax Fire and Emergency has attempted to purchase a fireboat.
In 2008, the department ordered a 24-foot boat from Harbor Guard Boats in California.
But during exercises and training before the city took possession of the boat, it capsized and sank with eight people in the open port door.
No one was hurt but at least five of the crew were briefly trapped in the pilothouse, according to a Transportation and Safety Board (TSB) of Canada report on the incident.
The vessel suffered extensive damage and the TSB found deficiencies in small craft stability standards. As a result of the incident, Transport Canada updated the standards in 2009.