New Fire Boat To Patrol Old Hickory Lake - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

New Fire Boat To Patrol Old Hickory Lake

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by Adam Ghassemi

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – They're trained to go into burning buildings, but now Hendersonville firefighters are earning their sea legs.

The department's new 40 foot, 13,000 lb. fire boat will officially be dedicated into service Saturday.

Based on technology alone, it could be among the most advanced vessels in the state.

Deputy Assistant Chief Bob Galoppi traveled to Superior, Wis. to customize it with vendor Lake Assault Boats.

"Between the radio and technology that's out here today we could just plot that in and chart ourselves right to where we need to go," he demonstrated Friday.

It can spray water up to 100 yards with so much force it can push the boat backwards up to 10mph, according to Galoppi.

The department gets added coverage of homes along the shoreline. Any buildings a great distance from hydrants could get water during an emergency by pulling the boat up to shore, hooking hoses up from trucks and pumping lake water to assist.

It's most impressive feature comes in handy during a rescue or recovery. The front door can open and lift up to 1,200 lbs.

"That's what sold the boat to us, was the landing craft design with that door with that capability of lifting that much weight," said Galoppi.

Despite the logos, the boat is for anyone on or along Old Hickory Lake across all counties that touch it. 

"I believe that this will not only save lives, but just the presence out there will give people enough comfort and assurance that we are prepared for whatever might happen out here on Old Hickory Lake," Galoppi said.

The boat, trailer and vehicle to pull it cost $500,000 which was paid for by a number of federal grants since 2008.

Nashville Fire already has a larger boat, but cities like Gallatin and Ashland City are ordering similar ones to create a fleet of protection up and down the Cumberland River.

Hendersonville's boat will be dedicated Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at Sanders Ferry Park.

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