County funds new lifeboat for Poughkeepsie

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POUGHKEEPSIE – The City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department has received their new inflatable rigid hull lifeboat, purchased as part of a Dutchess County grant. The new ship “Marine 2” replaces the department’s 1985 Boston Whaler, which is stored at the Clover Street station.

PFD firefighters on the retiring Marine-2 earlier this year. (c) Mid-Hudson News 2022

The boat, trailer and ancillary equipment were purchased from Defender Industries in Connecticut. Poughkeepsie Fire Chief Joe Franco, who spent months overseeing the specifications of the new boat, traveled to Connecticut with Fireman Jon Baisley on Thursday to move the property to its new home in Poughkeepsie.

The 14-foot vehicle, powered by a 40-horsepower Honda engine, can be deployed in minutes with a trailer and two firefighters to conduct rescue operations on the Hudson River and other bodies of water where needed.

The ship, according to Chief Franco, cost approximately $21,000 fitted with all the necessary equipment and was paid for with funds received under the Dutchess County Municipal Investment Grant (MIG). The Poughkeepsie Fire Department received $40,600 through the Dutchess County Municipal Investment Grant (MIG) program earlier this year. Approximately $21,000 was spent on the new boat, trailer and equipment. The remaining funds will be used to purchase an SUV and equipment to respond to requests on the section of the Dutchess County Rail Trail as well as the Urban Rail Trail being built in the city. Franco noted that MIG funding was instrumental in enabling the equipment upgrade. “The MIG money has avoided the need to further strain the city’s finances in the current economic climate.”

The chief said the new boat “will improve our ability to respond quickly to water emergencies and assist those in need,” Chief Franco said. ”

After firefighting training on the new ship, it will be commissioned and available to take calls, the chief said.

The Fire Department’s vessel Marine-1, a larger jet-powered vessel, docks at Shadows Marina during the spring, summer and early fall months. Marine-2 will remain on its trailer at Clover Street Fire Station and will normally be launched from Waryas Park Jetty, as will the 1985 Marine-2 which will soon be retired.

In addition to the two boats used by the fire brigade, the police also have a patrol boat called “Marine-3”. Originally, a misunderstanding led to the police vehicles being referred to as “Marine-2” until the new fire rescue boat arrived and the designations were adjusted. The police department purchased the boat through an agreement with the state in 2021.

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