“Like all fire apparatus, it’s good to have it but you hope you’ll never need it.” West Trenton Volunteer Fire Company Chief Ralf Brandmaier offered that wisdom today as he, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann and station firefighters tested a brand new fire boat pump acquired by the County with funds from the annual Homeland Security and Preparedness Grant.
West Trenton’s Marine 33 Rescue Boat was recently outfitted with the pump, and the officials have been running drills to ensure readiness in case of emergency.
“The benefit of the unit is that it can be trailered with the boat to where it is needed, or the pump itself can be transported to another boat at the scene,” said Hughes.
Firefighting from the water is not typical but incidents have been recorded. According to Mercer County’s Office of Emergency Management, fireboats would be utilized to extinguish fires on the wooded islands of the Delaware River or access homes in the river town communities of Trenton, Ewing and Hopewell.
The One Boat 100/500 GPM Fire Pump cost $11,447 and was purchased with funds from the 2016 State Homeland Security Preparedness Grant. The total grant was $316,120. The members of the committee that decides best purpose of Homeland Security and Preparedness funds include local and county law enforcement and representatives from emergency management, health, haz-mat, public works, and administration.
The pump was presented to the committee as an idea from the West Trenton Fire Company in Ewing because that company has boats and is in close proximity to the Delaware River.