Portland fireboats gain speed with engines from Pacific Power Group

Pacific Power Group recently teamed up with Vigor Industrial company Oregon Iron Works to supply high-speed marine engines for two new fast-response fireboats to the city of Portland.

Portland upgraded its fireboat fleet to meet emergency response demand on about 150-miles of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, requiring that the new boats be fast and durable. Both new vessels are designed to be 54-feet long and are expected to have a 20-year service life, far exceeding the typical five-to-seven years for similar boats.

Pacific Power Group was the top choice to provide a complete propulsion power solution. Pacific designed and engineered the solution which included the main engines, transmissions and drive lines for the boats to have the necessary high performance fire-fighting capabilities. The vessels are powered by MTU 8V2000 M84 engines and Rolls-Royce FF450S water jets. This allows significantly faster response times in the City’s large emergency response area, as the boats can travel up to 40 knots.

“For this project we collaborated with Oregon Iron Works to come up with a propulsion solution that delivers high performance fire-fighting capabilities without having to add dedicated fire pump engines,” said Bill Mossey, vice President of Pacific Power Group. “This solution is both economical and revolutionary for fireboats, allowing cost savings due to the purchase of fewer engines while supplying up to 8,000 gallons of water per minute through the water cannons."

Chesapeake, Virginia-based Donald L. Blount and Associates, Inc. produced the vessel concept designs and performance specifications, and Oregon Iron Works was awarded the contract to build the new boats. Other new technological features include automatic compensation for the recoil from the water cannons and fully-integrated controls for fast and agile maneuvering.

The fireboats have been delivered and were recently unveiled by the city. Training is under way for fireboat crews.

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