Jensen designs fast response fireboats for PF&R

Aluminum hulled fireboat under construction Aluminum hulled fireboat under construction

DECEMBER 18, 2013 — Crowley Maritime's Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering company Jensen Maritime recently provided concept designs and performance specifications for two new fireboats that will join the Portland, OR, fire and rescue (PF&R) fleet in the first half of 2014.

The new, fast-response fireboats will provide emergency response on long stretches of both the Columbia and Willamette rivers, and are expected to have a 20-year service life, which far exceeds the typical five to seven years typical for similar vessels in this class.

Jensen designed the two new industry-setting fireboats with a number of technologically rich elements, including automatic compensation for the recoil from the water cannons and fully integrated controls for fast and agile maneuvering.

"We are proud to have contributed our best-practice experience to the design of these new emergency response boats," said Jensen's Johan Sperling, vice president. "Our knowledge of what it takes to create a vessel that performs with tight and accurate maneuverability and reliable systems during intense, emergency operations will serve the city and its visitors and residents well for many years to come."

The two 54-foot long by 16-foot wide fireboats will be powered by twin MTU 8V2000 M84 engines each rated at 1,085 HP at 2,450 RPM. The twin MTUs will turn ZF 665TS reduction gears and Rolls-Royce FF450S waterjets, all of which combine to give the vessels a top speed of about 40 knots.

For firefighting, each vessel will also have a 3,500 gallons-per-minute fire pump on the front end along with three monitors – two on the bow and one on top of the cabin – and numerous hose connections both forward and aft. The vessels will also feature an integrated hydraulics system with a hydraulic bowthruster, a feature that Portland Fire Department Project Manager Tim Von Seggern labeled "unique."

While Jensen provided design, Donald L. Blount and Associates Inc., produced the final hull form. The boats are being constructed at Oregon Iron Works – a company that since 1984 has built and delivered more than 300 vessels, many for the Army Special Forces and other military buyers.

Jensen has experience designing fireboats of all types for major cities on the West Coast. Jensen's recent vessel designs include a 108-foot fireboat and 50-foot fast-attack fireboat for the Seattle Fire Department; three 40-foot fireboats for the Los Angeles Fire Department; a 40-foot fireboat for the Los Angeles County Fire Department and a 37-foot, 40-knot patrol boat and 44-foot patrol boat for the Seattle Police Department.

PF&R, with an annual budget of approximately $91 million, is the largest fire service agency in Oregon. It has approximately 755 employees and responds to approximately 66,000 emergencies a year. PF&R's current fleet responds to over 300 emergency aid calls a year from boaters in distress, dive responses, ship and boat fires, debris removal, high water conditions, bridge jumpers and mutual aid calls. PF&R fireboats and rescue boats respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week in all weather and sea conditions.