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September 15, 2013

As anyone who has ever visited Provincetown knows, it is a very old, very congested community.
Being located at the very tip of Cape Cod presents a number of serious concerns for the fire department.
Mutual aid apparatus takes time to respond and a serious fire can quickly consume a number of buildings
before help can arrive. The February 10, 1998 Whaler's Wharf fire was a real example of just how
serious a fire on Commercial Street can be. If a large fire, involving multiple buildings was to strike
again, it could quickly impact the available water supply in town potentially resulting in a disaster.

Mutual Aid run cards plan for such incidents. In addition to fire engines and other apparatus, the Provincetown
run cards
have for some time included a unique contingency plan for the "big one."
The plan calls for a request for the only fire boat in the region at the time to be called from Boston
if needed. It would take some time (hours) to get to P-town, but if it was necessary it could be called.

The Sandwich Fire Department is quite a distance from P-town by road, but is pretty close by water,
certainly much closer than Boston by water. So, when Sandwich recently took delivery of a new
fire boat, purchased with Federal Homeland Security grant money, it became a valuable potential
resource for incidents anywhere in the Cape Cod Bay area. (It has already been used for several rescues).

The 2013 Moose Boats 37 foot catamaran vessel built in California is rated at 2500 gpm
and has two powerful deckguns, the latest in electronic navigation, communications,  and
safety equipment. It can also supply "land lines" of large diameter hose thru several outlets.
The boat is kept in the Sandwich Marina on the Cape Cod Canal.

Sandwich firefighters brought Marine 439 across the bay in just under an hour (not full speed)
to demonstrate and test its ability to supply unlimited water to Provincetown units
should the need occur in the future. The boat tied to the end of McMillan Pier and
easily pumped in excess of its rated 2500 gpm feeding two deckguns on the pier
and flowing from its own deckguns at the same time.

In addition to the fireboat demonstration, members of the recently organized
Barnstable County Technical Rescue Team Dive unit showed how they
may assist Provincetown in the event of a drowning.




Sandwich boat coming into Provincetown harbor