The City of Chicago recently contracted Hike Metal of Wheatley , Ontario Canada to construct a new heavy- duty NFPA 1925 Type III Fireboat to replace its 55 year old fireboat. This sleek new 90-ft boat is designed to break up to 12 inches of first year ice at three knots and can therefore operate year round on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River .
It is equipped with Caterpillar marine diesel engines; two 1,0000hp engines driving the main fire pumps for a total delivery capacity of 14,000 gallons per minute of water ( and foam if required ) , at 150 psi to fire monitors and hose hydrants , or the vessel can be used as a pumping station to supplement the cities firemain supply; and two 1,500hp propulsion engines, capable of driving the vessel at 12 knots.
The Fireboat will be operated by a crew of five during normal operations and a crew of ten while in fire-fighting operation mode. The vessel is equipped with special alloy propellers designed and made for the severe ice conditions it will operate in. The Fireboat is heated and air-conditioned . It has a deckhouse designed to contain the pilothouse , a multi-purpose cabin which contains an emergency command center , an emergency medical treatment center , a decontamination station , and fire-fighting equipment storage. Below decks there are crew accommodations , a mess area, and washroom facilities.