Fire Fighter (fireboat)

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The fireboat Fire Fighter
Career (New York City Fire Department) Flag of the City of New York
Name: Marine 9 Fire Fighter
Operator: New York City Fire Department
Builder: United Shipyards
Yard number: 856
Launched: August 26, 1938
Homeport: Staten Island, NY
Motto: "We don't put them out, we knock them down!"
Fate: Museum Ship
General characteristics
Tonnage: 220.44 net
Length: 134 ft (41 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Height: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Draught: 9.24 ft (2.82 m)
Draft: 9 ft (2.7 m)
Installed power: Twin 1500 hp, 16-cylinder, 3968 CID General Motors Winton diesel engines
Propulsion: 2 x Westinghouse 425rpm @ 1000 hp electric propulsion motors
Speed: 15mph
Crew: 7-11
Fire Fighter (fireboat)
Built 1938
Architect William Francis Gibbs
Governing body New York City Fire Department
NRHP Reference # 89001447
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 30, 1989[1]
Designated NHL June 30, 1989[2]

Fire Fighter is a fireboat serving the New York City Fire Department. She was an active fireboat serving as Marine Company 9 until being retired in 2010. She was the most powerful diesel-electric fireboat when built in 1938. She has fought more than 50 fires, including upon the SS Normandie in 1942.[3]

FDNY service history[edit]

Other well-known fires she participated in include the SS El Estero in 1943, and the fire following the collision of Esso Brussels and SS Sea Witch in 1973. For her part in the rescue following the collision of Esso Brussels and Sea Witch, Fire Fighter was named a Gallant Ship.[4] On September 11, 2001, Fire Fighter, along with the rest of the FDNY Marine units were in active service pumping water from the Hudson River into Ground Zero when the water mains failed. She also participated in the 2009 Miracle on the Hudson, an incident involving a downed airplane in the Hudson River. [5]

The boat, as Firefighter, was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1989.[2][3]

Fire Fighter was retired in 2010 and replaced in frontline service by the fireboat Fire Fighter II.[6] On October 15, 2012, the New York City Fire Department formally transferred ownership of Fire Fighter to the non-profit Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum, an all-volunteer group dedicated to preserving the historic fireboat in running condition as a museum ship, befitting her over 70 years of service to the people and mariners of New York City and New York Harbor.

As a museum ship[edit]

Under the stewardship of the Museum, the Fire Fighter found a home in Greenport, New York on Long Island's North Fork and relocated to the village's municipal marina from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in February 2013. Eventually shifting to the village's commercial pier in accordance with their contractual agreement, the museum grew in popularity despite concerns from local fishermen who felt the vessel was too large for the poorly maintained pier in a July 2013 New York Times report.[7] Nevertheless, the museum continued to draw large crowds to the Greenport waterfront and saw a significant uptick in its volunteer rosters through its first season in operation.

On October 27, 2013, the museum was granted 501c3 status by the IRS.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Firefighter (Fireboat)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-14. 
  3. ^ a b James P. Delgado (January 20, 1989). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Firefighter" (PDF). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 8 photos from 1939, 1942, and 1988 PDF (1.26 MB)
  4. ^ Kimmerly, history from 1865-1999 written by Paul Hashagen ; updated history from 2000-2002 compiled by Janet Kimmerly; book edited by Janet (2002). Fire Department, City of New York (Rev. ed. ed.). Paducah, Ky.: Turner Pub. Co. p. 142. ISBN 9781563118326. 
  5. ^ Lydecker, Ryck (2002). "Fireboats: few & far between". Boat/US Magazine. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Corey Kilgannon (2013-07-09). "Bid to Turn Fire Department Ship Into a Museum Founders". New York Times. p. A19. Archived from the original on 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2013-07-10. Their attempts to secure a berth in the city — including the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Bridge Park and waterfront locations on Staten Island and along the West Side of Manhattan — have been rejected. 

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