New Smyrna Beach’s new fire boat debuts at July 4 festivities 

Photo for Headline Surfer / The New Smyrna Beach Fire Department unveils its 22-foot aluminum fire boat manufactured by Lake Assault boats in Superior, Wisc, during the recent Indfependence Day holiday. The boat cost $65,000, including the motor and fire pump.

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- This tourism municipality's waterways are now better prepared for emergencies thanks to the New Smyrna Beach Fire Department’s newest acquisition, a rescue and firefighting boat. 

In March city leaders unanimously approved the $65,000 purchase of a 22-foot aluminum fire boat manufactured by Lake Assault boats in Superior, Wisc. The vessel is powered by a 200-horsepower outboard engine and an auxiliary fire pump capable of discharging 370 gallons of water per minute. 

“I commend the city commission for having the foresight to equip the department with the tools necessary to protect the public on both land and water,” New Smyrna Beach Fire Chief Shawn VanDemark said. “This boat not only provides a means for the department to perform rescues on vessels and the various islands up and down the intracoastal, it also provides a means to extinguish fires on affected vessels.” 

The boat is equipped with sonar and forward looking infrared which allows the operators to see the heat signature of objects in the dark including persons who are floating away from the vessels. The boat is also capable of pumping water from the bilge of a sinking vessel to keep it afloat while repairs are made.

The boat is equipped with sonar and forward looking infrared which allows the operators to see the heat signature of objects in the dark including persons who are floating away from the vessels. The boat is also capable of pumping water from the bilge of a sinking vessel to keep it afloat while repairs are made.

“This boat provides a means to protect the public and the environment,” VanDemark said. “If we can keep a burning or damaged vessel from sinking below the waterline we can maintain a clean waterway and clean navigable channels. If we can arrive and aid the sick and injured quicker we can fulfill our mission as a department.” 

The boat made its first public appearance at the New Smyrna Beach Fourth of July festivities as it patrolled the city's inland waters. 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.