Harbor Notes

Fire Boat Operations

By K. K. Pollard

WHILE we are on the subject of Fire Boats we might as well familiarize ourselves with some of the boat procedure. When responding to an alarm and upon arrival at a fire the procedure differs considerably form that of an engine company.

The company of Fire Boat No. 2 consists of Captain, Pilot, Mate, three Engineers, Autofiremen and six Firemen. While the boat is under way the Pilot is in charge. At the fire the Captain takes charge of the crew for fire fighting.

Upon the receipt of an alarm the members of the company become the crew of a ship and their duties are the same as any ship's company. The Pilot becomes the Master of the vessel. The Pilot and the Captain confer and decide upon the approach to the fire.

The deck force, after letting the lines go, lay out the fire fighting gear. A 2 1/2-in. Gleason (pressure reducing valve) with a short section of hose is attached to the manifold on the starboard side. From this a line of three sections of 1 1/2-in. is stretched out on the deck. On the port side a similar hook-up is laid out, only a 3 1/2-in. Gleason and 2 1/2-in. hose are used. After this gear is laid out the breathing apparatus are brought on deck from the forward hold. Next the skiff, used as a lifeboat, is readied for launching. All of the aforementioned is done, time permitting, while enroute to the fire. Arriving at the scene of the fire the crew must ready the heaviest lines and the mooring lines. The Pilot decides the type of lines and the number to be used in making the boat fast. After the boat is fast, to the satisfaction of the Pilot, the crew become fire fighters. Ladders are raised and lines passed aboard and the fire fighting is done the same as ashore.

Many people ask us where we get our water. The answer depends on the individual doing the asking and the one doing the telling. Many new men have been lost laying a line from the boat while we were underway.

The High Ranking Official has received another invitation to dinner and, believe it or not, it is to be another abalone dinner. I hope the HRO does not get all of these dinners in a bunch. Abalones are a very rich food and too much of them might lead to severe gastric disturbances. I have been informed by a very reliable source that an Autofireman (he does not know it yet) will soon be shivering and cursing along the seashore but he will get the abalones and like it.

Our handball court has just undergone another face lifting. It seems that our temperamental near champions felt that the sea breeze that was able to sneak in around the edges was all that was keeping them from becoming champs. We now have a completely closed in court and we are now figuring out how to air condition the joint. If you can find the time and have the gas come on down; we will furnish the opposition, partners or anything else that is needed for a game. All cheering impartial.


Doctors say that women are outliving men. It shows how well husbands treat their wives.


This article appeared in the April, 1945 issue of THE GRAPE VINE.

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