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After years relying on other cities, Oakland to finally get new fireboat

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will award the Oakland Fire Department with a $825,000 port security grant to support the purchase of a new fireboat.

The grant money will be used to purchase a long-awaited emergency response vessel that will be housed in the Oakland Estuary adjacent to Fire Station 2 in Jack London Square.

Michael Hunt, a department spokesperson, said the new fireboat will be used in conjunction with the department’s existing water rescue boat, Marine 1, and will be designed and equipped to meet the modern-day challenges associated with protecting the city’s estuary and waterfront.

Chief Reginald Freeman said:

“We’re cognizant of the budgetary limitations that exist in Oakland and how that has impeded this department’s ability to repair and replace outdated infrastructure and apparatus in a timely manner. … I am thrilled that these grant funds will enable us to respond to incidents at the Port of Oakland more effectively, while also making sure we’re equipped to continue protecting life and property along Oakland’s vibrant waterfront.”

The city’s previous fireboat was decommissioned in 2003.

FEMA’s Port Security Grant Program provides $100 million for transportation infrastructure security activities to implement Area Maritime Transportation Security plans and facility security plans among port authorities, facility operators and local government agencies required to provide port security services.

Freeman said:

“External funds like these play a critical role in augmenting our operational capacity, and I applaud and appreciate everyone who had a hand in making this grant application successful.”

He added:

“While the application process may be challenging and competitive, the outcome has made our department stronger and the city more resilient.”

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