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 Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Port Byron passengers and mails will be transported by the Sterling and Rock Island railroad. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The congregation of the First Methodist church worshiped in Harper's theater, where construction work is being done at the church site. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Three-eye baseball for Moline was assured the Danville Franchise will be transferred to the Plow city. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Roseville Methodist Church is observing its 100th anniversary. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The last remaining unfinished portion of Interstate 80 between the Quad-Cities and Joliet will be opened to traffic by Aug 12. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Of all the highlights of the last 12 years, this is the greatest of all, said Dennis Hitchcock, producer director of Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, as he torched the mortgage, clearing a $220,000 loan financing the downtown Rock Island theater's beginnings in 1977.