The Southern Marin Fire District’s fireboat “Liberty” provides emergency services to the navigable waterways on the southern most tip of Marin County and 5 nautical miles off our coastline. These waters encompass a variety of shared jurisdictional boundaries. They include the City of San Francisco, County of Marin, Town of Tiburon, California State Parks, and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The fireboat protection area can be separated into four distinct categories. Our waterfront is used for commercial operations, recreational vessels, residential, and tourism.
The commercial target hazards within the response area protected by the fireboat include the Sausalito Ferry Terminal, a commercial fueling dock, an airport for floating planes and helicopter, a sewer treatment facility, numerous restaurants on piers, and commercial fishing operations.
Sausalito hosts the largest marinas for recreational vessels north of Santa Barbara with over 2000 slips and 300 vessels in the anchorage. Fifteen to twenty percent of all of these vessels have full time live-aboard residents. There are over 400 floating homes in the northern part of the Richardson’s Bay.
The fireboat provides emergency response and protection to massive tourist population visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, beaches in the GGNRA, and the ferry system transporting 1.6 million riders annually.
Our fireboat is considered a regional marine asset listed in the Area Maritime Security Plan. Our boat crews maintain an excellent port partnership with the USCG command staff by responding and training with their fleet regularly. Our crews and boats are considered an available resource to all parts of the San Francisco and San Pablo Bay.
Fireboat “Liberty” is a 34’ Metalcraft twin jet aluminum vessel capable of delivering 1500 gallons per minute of water. She is berthed 100 yards from Sausalito Fire Station 1 and has a three-person crew available 24/7. Our boat can handle a 6-foot sea state and travel 34 knots per hour.
Liberty and crew have served the district well for over 15 years providing search and rescue, paramedics, rescue swimmers, fire suppression, SCUBA divers, hazardous material containment, as well as dewatering sinking vessels. Sadly, Liberty is reaching the end of her service life and is scheduled to for replacement in October of 2018.
Fortunately, FEMA realized the importance of this vital asset in maintaining port security coverage and awarded $755,000 through a Port Security Grant towards the replacement. As a result of this federal grant coupled with the District’s 25% matching of funds the citizens will not experience any gaps in emergency coverage.
The new fireboat is currently under construction in Ontario Canada and should be in-service in October of this year. It is a larger faster platform capable of handling heavier seas. Other enhancements include an infrared camera, greater scene lighting, greater firefighting capabilities, chemical, biological, nuclear, radiation, explosive detection and crew protection.
For further information regarding the fireboat or marine operations please contact
Captain Matt Bouchard