The West Carrollton Fire Department recently placed a new water rescue boat in service on the Great Miami River – replacing one that was 20 years old.
The new AB Inflatables watercraft combines an aluminum hull with inflatable tubes.
“Due to the frequent changes in the Great Miami River’s water levels, the AB boat was the best option for our needs,” said Fire Captain Adam Blake.
He said the new 282-pound boat is much lighter than the department’s former 2,000-pound rigid inflatable model, and much easier to lift on and off of the trailer. Blake said the boat performs well in swift or shallow water.
The rescue boat is powered by an Evinrude 30 HP Rescue Pro outboard motor, which is specially designed for rescue purposes and can operate in various water conditions.
Crews will be conducting training during the spring and summer on the new watercraft. “Our goal is to have the entire department trained on operating the new boat,” said Fire Chief Chris Barnett.
Barnett said the department has responded to numerous water rescues during his 41-year tenure with the department, including mutual-aid calls to neighboring communities. In addition to the Great Miami River, the department has also answered water-rescue calls at local ponds and reservoirs.
“It’s imperative that we are prepared to respond to any and all hazards,” Barnett said.