Fishers Fire Chief Steve Orusa is happy to see the new fireboat coming to Geist. The current boat has had several mechanical issues.

The Fishers Fire Department recently purchased a new Boston Whaler boat to use on Geist Reservoir. The purchase came after a number of residents in the Geist community requested that the Fall Creek Township Trustee, Jeff Hern, purchase a new boat for safety reasons.

According to Hern, the boat cost $182,620 and the money to purchase the boat came from the Fire Equipment Tax levied on Fishers’ newest residents around Geist. Now that the Town of Fishers is providing fire protection for the entire township, Hern plans to do away with the Fire Equipment Tax in 2012 and does not have any plans to reinstate it going forward.

The new twin-engine boat has an expected lifespan of 30 to 40 years. It will replace the old boat that the Fishers Fire Department has used for the last 7 years. Fishers Fire Chief Steve Orusa said, “The old boat had many problems, including loss of performance, hull leaks, and repeated part failures.” The old boat filled its role as a fire/rescue platform, but the new boat is better equipped for dive operations and multiple mission response.

At 27 feet long with a center console, the Fishers Fire Department can work more efficiently when there are dive missions and boat fires/wrecks. The boat comes equipped with a sonar search platform, missing person technology, and a swing away haul that allows the back side to open, creating easy access for divers and those that need rescued. The boat is 10 feet wide and will give firefighters the room they need to work when there is an emergency situation.

“The boat will always have a firefighter trained in diving and water rescue whenever we are out patrolling,” Orusa said. “With all the public safety cutbacks, we hope to keep people safe on Geist and to be able to respond quickly to any emergency situation.”

The new fire boat will join the Geist neighborhood patrol boats that are also on Geist and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ boat, which is used to enforce laws such as operating while intoxicated, fishing licenses, and ensuring that boats are operated safely. Orusa and his crew will dock the boat at the Geist Marina and plan to use the boat on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

“The Fishers Fire Department intends to use the boat to create a safety presence on Geist. Geist is a valuable natural resource and many people go out on the water during the summer months. We want to be proactive in managing the risk of harm to anyone during that time. We intend to create a strong safety presence on Geist,” added Orusa.

As far as naming the boat, that is still up in the air. Suggestions are welcome! Go to TownePost.com and post your favorite name!

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