Within the 2015 City Budget, Fire Chief Jeff Hogan is requesting a new Boat with greater capacity.
With the City of Johns Creek abutting approximately 13 miles of the Chattahoochee River and a River Rescue occurring about every 3-4 weeks, the department is in need of better equipment with greater capacity. The requested boat is military grade, 12 ft long, 6 ft wide and can hold 1100 lbs. Plenty of room for the Fireman, equipment and victims.
The current boat can only hold 800 lbs and with a driver and 2 responders to pull the victim out of the water, weighing about 600lbs, +100 lbs of equipment; leaves only a 100 lb victim to add to the boat’s capacity.
The Fire Chief stated that if the victim is more than 100 lbs or there are 2 people in danger, he will have to leave a Fireman in the river, if the victims are not incapacitated. If a victim is in need of resuscitation on the boat, this requires 2 Firemen, and he can’t leave a Fireman behind in the river, or over-weigh the boat as it can capsize.
The current backup is an inflatable raft which is used when the boat is in the repair shop from damage occurring from the substantial amount of hidden debris in the river, such as downed trees, limbs, and large rocks, etc.
The Rescue Boat needs to enter these dangerous areas where tubers and boaters sometimes get caught and turn over in the debris, leaving them stranded. Adjoining party members call 911 and the City’s own Swift Water Rescue Team is deployed immediately. A fully equipped Special Operations truck pulls the boat trailer.
Fire Marshall Chad McGiboney stated that the water release from the Buford Dam catches many people by surprise. The water rises rapidly and has turbulent flows. It is necessary to find out the dam release schedule before entering the water.
Citizens are urged to Call the Buford Dam 770-945-1466 for the Day’s Schedule.
Resident Mark Endres spoke out against the City purchasing the boat and stated people should drown if they enter the river if they can’t help themselves. Mr Endres did not want his tax dollars spent this way.
This line item is expected to pass ‘swimmingly’ based on the City Council’s Work Session discussion.
Photo courtesy of ‘Brunswick Commercial & Government Products‘ is for display purposes as the specs are similar to what is being requested.