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Federal Grant Will Help Buy New Davenport Fireboat

Davenport's current fireboat
City of Davenport
Davenport's current fireboat

With help from a federal grant, Davenport is planning to buy a new fireboat. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide 600,00 dollars, and the city will contribute 200,000.

Fire Chief Mike Carlsten says the city's current fireboat uses a jet propulsion system - either to move the boat or pump water.

"Looking to maybe separate those two so we would still have the capability of pumping for ship fires, and fires along the actual river. We could actually go ahead and use the boat for a source of water."

City of Davenport

The current boat is also very loud and the cab is not enclosed.

"It would be more of a sealed cab for responders and the people we would rescue. So if we were dealing with a hazardous materials scene we could stay out of those elements."

Carlsten says last year, the boat was called out 26 times - to help other law enforcement agencies, when people drove their cars into the river, and to help stranded boaters.

He also thinks there'll be more calls for the boat in the future for ems calls for passengers on the rising number of excursion boats traveling on the river.