In the course of producing the All About Pumps educational software program, the author visited scores of fire stations, fire museums and fire boats, and talked to dozens and dozens of firefighters. This entry in the Internet Glossary of Pumps has now been dedicated to the 300+ New York City firefighters who were killed September 11th, 2001 in the collapse of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers, and the thousands they tried to save, but were unable to. America lost the bravest of the brave that day, but thousands of lives were saved by their heroic actions in the moments following the terrorist attack.
Every major harbor has one or more fireboats to protect the docks and ships where ground-based fire vehicles cannot go.
Originally (late 1800's) these boats were made from old, converted tugboats. Within a few decades they had proved their worth and specially-designed fireboats began to be built.
Certainly the most famous fireboat of all time is the FIRE FIGHTER of New York City, which began service in 1938 and still answers the call.
FIRE FIGHTER was designed by William Francis Gibbs, who also designed the ocean liners AMERICA and UNITED STATES.
Four 5000 GPM De Laval two-stage centrifugal pumps provide a total pumping capacity of 20,000 gallons per minute at 150 PSI. They can also be connected in series to provide 10,000 GPM at 300 PSI.
W. F. Gibbs also designed a land-based fire truck -- the most powerful ever built -- called the Super Pumper, which served NYC from 1965 to 1982. It was built by Mack Trucks, and could feed 35 hoselines at once.
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