As of Sunday May 6, 2018, the Annapolis Fire Department enhanced its capabilities to provide response to water based emergencies on local waterways in and around the City. Rescue Boat 37 (RB-37), a new 18 foot rigid hull inflatable outboard vessel, with a capacity of 8 persons will be available for deployment to emergency calls from the Taylor Avenue Fire Station staffed by the Department’s Special Operations personnel.
Although RB-37 is the Department’s second boat, “This specially designed, smaller rescue vessel will serve a different mission profile than our larger 36 foot Fire/Rescue vessel that is deployed out of the Annapolis City Marina. RB-37 will handle search and rescue missions in the many shallow water creeks and rivers found in the greater Annapolis area”, says Fire Chief David L. Stokes, Sr. “The purchase of this vessel was a joint effort between the City of Annapolis and the Independent Volunteer Fire Company #2 showing the strong working partnership between the agencies”, said Chief Stokes.
The Independent Volunteers put forth money they received from their fundraising efforts along with some grant funding to make this much needed resource hit the City waters well in time for Safe Boating Weak which is May 19th-May 25th, 2018. The National Safe Boating Council, sponsors of Safe Boating Week, along with the Annapolis Fire Department, will be focusing on proper use of Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s), the use of Float Plans and having the proper US Coast Guard required safety equipment on all vessels as this year’s theme.
The first scheduled use of this new equipment will be for US Naval Academy commencement week, but the boat will be available for emergency responses as of May 6th.