Just over a year after losing their fireboat, the Buckskin Fire District has a new boat to replace it. On July 1, the Buckskin Fire District took possession of a new Nordic Boat equipped for fire-fighting and rescues. This boat replaces the 20-year-old 28-foot Conquest boat that sank in an incident in June 2019.
BFD Spokesperson Capt. Jason Weatherford said the new boat was paid for through insurance payments from the old boat and grants from Arizona State Parks and Trails.
The new boat is a 26-foot Nordic Boat that’s equipped with a 500-gallon-per-minute fire pump with a deck-mounted nozzle. It has a drop-down front deck for patient and diver access.
Weatherford said the new boat has some equipment the old boat didn’t have. These include night vision and bottom and side-scanning Sonar.
The old boat sank in an incident on July 14, 2019. The boat was involved in fighting a fire near Bluewater Lagoon when a pump routed water improperly. Water soon filled the boat. The crew quickly got the boat to shore, where they were able to save most of their equipment. No one was injured in the incident.
The La Paz County Sheriff’s Office loaned the BFD a boat until they could get a new one.
BFD Chief Troy Maloney said the district set up a committee to look into what the district needed and boats that best fit their needs.
“Buckskin Fire District assembled a committee of trained fire/rescue divers to review the options of boat manufacturers, styles and types of boats,” Maloney said in a press release. “The committee did a thorough comparison of four boat manufacturers. All of the manufacturers were given the same specs for the boat build, so as to be able to match compare, like for like. After careful review and comparing of details, the committee decided that the 26-foot Nordic was the best boat for the District and the unique river it services. Nordic Boats is a Lake Havasu City based manufacturer that is committed to building quality boats designed to operate on the Colorado River.”
Weatherford said the boat saw its first use on the Fourth of July weekend, when it was called in to suppress fires from illegal fireworks along the shoreline of the Colorado River. La Paz County District 2 Supervisor Duce Minor, whose district includes the Buckskin Fire District, said he was very impressed with what he saw.