CARTERET–The borough has received a fire boat through a Federal Homeland Security grant program, Mayor Dan Reiman and Councilman Randy Krum announced.
Carteret is one of five New Jersey cities to receive funding through the Homeland Port Security Maritime grant, which will enable awarded emergency service teams to provide heightened levels of safety to waterfronts, and to participate in the protection of the New York Harbor / New Jersey Harbor areas with the New Jersey Marine State Police.
The pass-through grant came through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and was funded with federal domestic preparedness monies. The Carteret Fire Department received a 27-foot Boston Whaler, and its range of state-of-the-art maritime safety and security equipment, for a total of $297,000. Features and equipment include:
- Twin 300 horsepower outboard engines
- Night vision camera (FLIR system)
- Night vision goggles (2)
- Night vision optical binoculars (2)
- Radiation detection equipment
- 5,000 watt generator
- De-watering pumps for leaking vessels
- Emergency services access door
- Garmin GPS and navigational system
- Two reserve 300 horsepower engines
“The efficiency of our first-responders can play a crucial role in the outcome of emergencies of any scale,” Reiman said. “The Carteret Fire Department is instrumental in providing emergency services to our region’s waterfront areas, with industrial areas that can be vulnerable to larger scale emergencies. Federal assistance such as this better enable us to reach our high public safety standards.”
The borough plays host to industrial, chemical, and commercial properties with many railways and pipelines running through the town. The eastern portion of Carteret hosts approximately several miles of waterfront property along the deepwater channel of the Arthur Kill waterway.
The borough’s grant proposal was reviewed and approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Captain of the Port (COTP) in coordination with the Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC), and approved as being consistent with the Port Wide Strategic Risk Management Plan (SRMP). Qualifying factors included the Carteret’s immediate proximity to a number of industrial areas both in and beyond the borough. Carteret is considered a densely populated city of 23,000 residents within a four square mile radius, and plays home to a deep-water port for petrol-chemical vessels along the Arthur Kill waterway. The Carteret Fire Department provides fire suppression, prevention, and emergency medical services with a combination of career and volunteer firefighters and EMT’s.
According to Fire Chief Brain O’Connor, Carteret is responsible for the waterfront protection of ports throughout the area, and is part of a mutual aid plan for the area and is also a UASI region. Because the United States Coast Guard has abdicated its responsibility to local fire departments for response to shipboard firefighting and emergencies for all types of vessels, the Carteret Fire Department will deploy the 27 foot firefighting/rescue vessel that will respond to all types of water borne emergencies.
“We’ve maintained the highest standards for our emergency service departments in spite of current financial challenges,” Reiman said. “This Homeland Port Security award is a welcome grant during a time when we’re expanding and improving our emergency services while pulling the reins in on public spending.”
“The new boat will increase our department’s effectiveness, furthering our ability to respond to emergencies on the water during both day and night time operations,” Councilman Randy Krum added. “Some of this equipment will keep our vessels serviceable to ensure coverage around the clock, and help us mirror FDNY Marine Operations strategies.”
The Carteret Fire Department will continue to provide first response and rescue services to Port of New York and New Jersey, including shipboard firefighting, flammable liquid and gas firefighting, hazardous materials responses, structural firefighting for the land-based sector of facility operations and search and rescue operations that include vehicle extrications, large area rope-assisted searches, high angle rope rescues, trench rescues and confined space rescues.
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