Versatile emergency vessel serves on Lake Waco and portions of the Brazos River.
The Waco Fire Department has taken delivery of a custom-built Lake Assault Boats fireboat and rescue craft. The new vessel provides a wide range of emergency response services on Lake Waco (a 12-square-mile body of water located within the city limits) as well as a section of the Brazos River that flows through the department’s protection area in central Texas. The craft was purchased through Lake Assault Boats’ listings on GSA Advantage Schedule 84 that includes Marine Craft.
“Our department first learned about Lake Assault Boats through Lake Travis Fire Rescue, a neighboring department,” explained R. M. Bergerson, Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations for Waco Fire Department. “We’d seen their boat in action and heard good things. We just placed the new boat into service, and its capabilities for firefighting, rescue, and dive operations are impressive.”
A pair of 225 hp Honda outboard engines supplies power for the 26-foot craft. The hull features a 63-inch hydraulically operated bow door that opens to 90-degrees and can safely be deployed and operated at slow speeds. There are six-foot-long lockable storage compartments on either side of the bow deck as well as storage racks to hold dive equipment.
The craft’s firefighting system includes a Hale Attack Max fire pump rated at 550 gpm and powered by a dedicated 35-hp marinized engine. Two TFT portable Hemisphere monitors (one with a fog nozzle and a second with a smooth bore tip) are on board. Water is supplied through a 4-inch intake into a sea chest.
The full-width T-top pilothouse is manufactured from 3/16” welded aluminum, has a 76-inch interior clearance height, and features a forward leaning windshield and fixed side windows. The dash console includes a 12-inch touchscreen monitor that controls a Garmin system featuring GPS, Sonar, with SideVu and DownVu, and Chartplotting.
“With its twin engine configuration and extremely stable hull design, the craft’s cornering maneuverability, and overall performance is outstanding,” said Bergerson, adding, “We just launched our own dive team, and the hydraulic bow door with integrated dive ladders will help us perform more effectively and efficiently.”