At the urging of Newport Fishermen’s Wives, local fish processors and Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy, the Newport City Council was convinced Monday evening to apply for a grant, from U.S. Homeland Security, to buy a firefighting boat. The grant would purchase the one million dollar vessel with the city having to come up with a local supplement of $266,000. Chief Murphy says he’s confident that between the fishing community, the fish processors and others, they can easily raise $133,000 to cut the local match in half. Chief Murphy says he has the letters of intent from a number of sources from within the fishing community.
Chief Murphy said the fireboat would extinguish fires aboard boats, docks and ships in the bay, and also provide “pump through” riverwater if a home or a wildland fire broke out upriver. The fireboat would suck up river water, pump it to the shore where it could fill fire trucks on the Yaquina Bay Road – an area without fire hydrants – so it’s a good deal all around.
Chief Murphy thanked the council for endorsing their application to Homeland Security. He said he’s confident that Newport has a very good shot at getting the grant.
But Chief Murphy wasn’t quite done yet. Chief Murphy said he found a used fire engine that he wants the city to buy from the city of Tangent to replace an aging fire engine here in Newport. Chief Murphy said he and his staff have seen for themselves that the engine is in good shape and has been well maintained by the fire department there. He said the last new fire engine Newport bought was for over $400,000. He said the one he wants to buy from Tangent Fire is in terrific shape and costs just $65,000.
The city council told Chief Murphy he has their blessing (and a city check) to go get the fire truck!