Coeur d'Alene Fire Dept. debuts new fire boat

The Lake City finally has a fire boat, and the Coeur d'Alene Fire Department says it's long overdue.

"We just want to have the most safe community we can have," Fire Department Public Information Office Craig Etherton said. "We feel this is the tool we've been lacking here in the Lake City."

The Coeur d'Alene Fire Department debuted the new boat during Ironman and have already used it for five rescues since then, including one a week ago when they say a boy fell from rocks on Tubbs Hill. According to Etherton, the front-loading feature of the boat allowed them to quickly and safely get the patient on the boat. The boat itself also got them there much more quickly than if they had hiked up Tubbs Hill to the accident scene.

"In a big trauma like that, time is the most important thing," Etherton explained.

The boat is equipped to do rescues in the dark and in stormy weather as well. They use infrared technology to locate people, even when they can't see them.

"We really didn't spare any expense when it came to the electronics," Etherton said.

The Fire Department is also looking forward to using the boat during wildfire season. Its hose has a higher pressure than most boats, so it can reach Tubbs Hill. Water is released from the hose at 1,500 gallons per minute.

They say they got the money for the boat from a bond that passed with 85% of the vote. 

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