The Buckskin Fire Department dedicated their new fire boat with a special ceremony held Sept. 30. The event saw several special guests, including State Sen. Sonny Borrelli, State Rep. Leo Biasiucci, County District 2 Supervisor Duce Minor, and two representatives from the state agency that provided funds for the boat, Arizona State Parks & Trails Director Bob Broscheid and Assistant Director Darla Cook.
BFD Chief Troy Maloney said the event was also intended to show appreciation for those individuals and agencies at the state level who made the acquisition of the new boat possible.
The boat replaces one that sank in July 2019. The department took delivery of the new boat on July 1, 2020, and it was used during the July 4 weekend. At the time, 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 & 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.
Maloney 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 find a boat that best fit their needs. That committee consisted of trained fire and rescue divers. They recommended the Nordic boat.
Nordic Boats is based in Lake Havasu City.
Maloney said he hoped district residents would understand that no district funds were used to purchase the boat. He also wanted district residents to know they did not purchase a speed boat. The new boat has twin motors, but it is geared for low-end power, not high speed.
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.
Minor said he believes the boat and its ability to respond to accidents on the river was instrumental in saving the life of a young man who lost an arm in a boating accident Sept. 5.