The New York City Fire Department is introducing a new fleet of life-saving equipment, a multi-million-dollar purchase that is a result of what the department says they painfully lacked during Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
The New York City Fire Department is rolling out new heavy-duty equipment.
"We acted very quickly to get these vehicles so that we would have it in time for this hurricane season," said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano.
Following Hurricane Sandy, the department spent $6 million in new equipment and training.
The additions include 40 rescue connector boats. The vessels have pumps that can spray 550 gallons of water per minute.
In cases like the Breezy Point fire that followed the storm, the boats could have enabled crews to push through the severe floods while also fighting the flames.
"The night of the storm, we had to wait 'til the waters receded to a certain point because the fire department pumpers just can't operate in that deep of water," said William Seeling, chief of special operations for the FDNY. "They would get damaged, destroyed."
The FDNY purchased six two-and-a-half-ton trucks that can move through 53 inches of water and four feet of snow.
"It can go into that height of water where we couldn't get down in some of those flooded streets in Rockaway and Staten Island," Cassano said. "We really could've used this. We had to wait until the National Guard got here with a few of theirs."
The department also purchased a 13-foot long Swift Water rescue pod. Inside are around 1,600 pieces of life-saving equipment, including inflatable rafts, rope packs and life jackets. Another pod provides relief for mass casualty incidents.
The department said that in the case of an emergency or major weather event, despite the size of the new equipment, they'll be ready.
"They'll be mobile. They'll be on tow trucks, towing vehicles, so we can get them out and get them to wherever we need them," Cassano said. "We just don't know exactly where it's going to hit again."
The department said that it hopes to add even more to the fleet because it can never be too prepared.