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 Tuesday, March 11, the 70th day of 2014. There are 295 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Much damage is being done by hogs that are running at large about town. The marshal will take them up and sell them if their owners do not contain them. 1889 -- 125 years ago: George Newberry, Daniel Strecker, Al Webb and James Dixon returned from a voyage down the Mississippi River as far as Memphis, Tenn., on a flat. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Augustana College was put out of the running for the state collegiate basketball title when defeated by Millikin. The Viking lineup included Sten, Samuelson and Swanbeck, forwards, and Holtgren, Johnson and Berg, guards. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The coronation of Pope Pius XII and preliminary ceremonies were broadcast by WHBF on the Mutual Radio Network. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Reactivation of a portion of the J.I. Case Co, plant in Rock Island as a supplier for component parts for the firm's manufacturing centers at Racine, Wis., or Burlington, Iowa, is under consideration. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Downtown Moline business owners will have a chance to help shape the city's future through a survey being done by the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission.