Dan Jasina from Michigan found another article on the new fire boat with photos and a video.  The entire article can be found HERE with excerpts below:

The vessel represents more than a year of work for Hike Metal Products Ltd. and its more than 20 workers. It’s the largest boat the Wheatley ship builder has sent out of the harbour in four or five years and is larger than a fire boat built in 2007 for Baltimore.

On Friday morning the Chicago fire boat will leave the harbour and could be passing down the Detroit River that afternoon. It will head through Lake St. Clair, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan before reaching Chicago Sunday night, if the weather co-operates.

The boat carries the Wheatley name in a touching coincidence that surprised fire officials in Chicago and the ship builders here.

The fire boat is called the Christopher Wheatley for a 31-year-old Chicago firefighter who died Aug. 9 in the line of duty. He was carrying equipment up a fire escape during a restaurant fire when he fell to his death.

His father Daniel Wheatley said after the Chicago Fire Department told him the city’s replacement fire boat would be commissioned in his son’s name, he asked about who was building the boat. When he looked up Hike Metal’s website and saw the location he was stunned. He travelled to Wheatley in March to see the boat and the village.

Not many firefighters in Chicago know what name the fire boat will bear when it arrives. Hike Metal officials found out about the coincidence four months ago when they asked what name to put on the boat.

Company president Andy Stanton said Wheatley’s not a common name and he’s pleased a hero will carry the Wheatley name out of the harbour. “We were very surprised.”

The Christopher Wheatley is a heavy duty fire boat designed to break up to 12 inches of ice so it can operate year-round.

It can be used with scuba divers, for rescues, for firefighting with foam or water and as a pumping station to supplement the city’s firemain supply of water. It can be run with a crew of five or up to 10 when fighting a fire. It has a kitchen, washroom and crew accommodations below decks.

One of the four monitor nozzles sits on a platform that can be elevated 30 feet and the force of the spray will be enough to blast brick off the side of a building, Stanton said.

To be able to pass underneath low bridges, the boat was built so the mast comes down and it sits no more than 16 feet out of the water. It has four engines, two for the water pumps and two 1,500 horsepower propulsion engines to drive the boat. It can travel at 12 knots or at three knots through ice.


Dan submitted photos that we posted HERE.

Chicago Fire Departement new fire boat

Chicago's new fire boat sits completed and ready to head out in a week. Dan Jasina photo

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