The Vicksburg Fire Department is adding a pontoon boat to its fleet of response vessels for use with the department’s dive team.
The boat is located on the Gulf Coast and was the property of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. It was used to follow the BP Oil Spill in 2010.
The transfer of the boat to the VFD is technically a donation from the state, and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen accepted it on behalf of the VFD last week. If purchased new, the cost would be around $300,000.
Chief Craig Danczyk hopes to have the vessel in Vicksburg within the next couple of weeks. The boat will need new motors and additional minor repairs before being put into service. There are some port security funds available that might be used to equip the boat for responses in water emergencies including fires, according to Danczyk.
The Vicksburg Fire Department dive team normally responds to incidents in lakes and ponds. The shallow draft of this boat will give the team a safe working platform and allow transport of various types of rescue equipment.