The Anne Arundel County Fire Department, which serves a county with 533 miles of shoreline, is getting some serious muscle when it comes to responding to emergencies on the water.
Two 50-foot-long, Metal Shark Defiant NXT Monohull Pilothouse Fireboats are being built in Louisiana, due to be delivered in spring and summer 2024. The department says the vessels will “enhance the department’s ability to more effectively respond to maritime-related fire emergencies on our vast waterways here in the County.”
Bay Bulletin first learned about plans for the two new fireboats when we reported on the sinking of an Anne Arundel County fireboat in March 2022. Four crew members had to be rescued from the Magothy River after a training exercise gone wrong sent the fireboat down to the silty bottom in 22 feet of water.
When the investigation report was released and we asked the fire department about lessons learned from the incident, they told us they’d purchased the two 50-foot Metal Shark boats that would be better able to handle adverse sea conditions and also have higher decks with better self-draining capabilities.
Metal Shark says the Defiant boats offer “faster speeds enabling shorter response times, greater pumping volume increasing firefighting effectiveness, and a next-generation design improving efficiency while affording greater safety to firefighters.”
The first boat will be christened in the spring and the fire department says a member of the community will be able to name it. They’re now soliciting nominations for names from Anne Arundel County residents and teachers in county classrooms. You can submit your ideas from now until Nov. 30, 2023. Use this link to make your suggestion: Name Our Boat. Once the names are compiled, the top names will be on social media for a vote.
The second boat, expected to be christened in summer 2024 and will be named by an Anne Arundel County Fire Department member.
“Involving our Community and Department Members to be a part of the naming process ensures both fireboats will receive names from those who will directly benefit by adding these two maritime vessels to our fleet,” says Fire Chief Trisha Wolford.
-Meg Walburn Viviano