Harrods Creek Fire Department training on new rescue boat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Harrods Creek Fire Department training on new rescue boat

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From fighting fires to potential terror threats, the Harrods Creek Fire Department is preparing for the worst on the Ohio River.

On Monday, crews started training on a new water rescue boat. It is like having a fire truck on the river. In addition to fighting fires, the boat will respond to medical runs and even chemical spills on the Ohio.

"We wanted to have a vessel that could protect people from every end of the spectrum possible," Urekew said.

Captain Urekew said boat 1291 is that vessel.

"It's a CBRNE Patrol vessel," he said. "Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives patrol vessel."

The boat was purchased with federal grant money after a risk management assessment.

"One of the things we realized that we aren't prepared to deal with is a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosives attack, whether it be on a barge or whether it be to some kind of private facility or industrial facility," Urekew said.

With two new bridges, the upcoming boating season and terror threats always a concern, the boat expands Harrods Creek's protection on the river.

"Whether we have people that choose to jump off of the bridge or accidents that spill over off of the bridge, or it just being a straight target because it's a bridge across two interstates, we will be patrolling that area," Urekew said.

Mike Isaac, a longtime boater on the Ohio River, said he's glad to know the new boat will be in action the next time the waters get choppy.

"You've got barge traffic, you've got currents running ... It's a little more to be respective of than your lakes are," Isaac said.

Crews will spend this week training and should be ready to put the boat in service in early March.

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