MOLINE -- Training is under way on a new rescue boat the Moline fire and police departments will use in river emergencies and incidents.
The two departments were awarded a $195,000 Port Security Grant grant to buy a new boat to respond to natural or man-made emergencies and situations on the Mississippi River.
The 30-foot boat now docked in Moline has two, 300 horse-power outboard motors, a 700-gallon a minute fire pump, underwater sonar, and dive doors at water level.
"It is the biggest boat Moline has ever had to provide service to the waterways," said Moline Fire Battalion Chief Todd Allen. "Our response will be quicker, and with the size and length of the boat, we can operate it in any kind of weather." he said.
"If there is a fire on a barge or anywhere we could not reach by land we will have the capability to fight that fire," Battalion Chief Allen said.
The fire department was responding to Mississippi River emergencies with a17-foot flat bottom boat with a 60 horse-power motor. If winds were strong, firefighters couldn't run it on the water, he said.
The department will continue to use that boatto respond to emergencies on the Rock River, Battalion Chief Allen said.
Police officers will use the new boat to respond to criminal concerns or activity on the water.
It will also be used to assist other agencies as needed, Battalion Chief Allen said.
The fire department named the new boat Old Mississippi II, in honor of the Old Mississippi, a Moline pumper truck that was used to help fight the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.
The new boat will be on display at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at city hall, 619 16th St., prior to the city council meeting.
Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.